Too Much Fame, Too Soon

Flappy Bird is (I gather) a ball-breaker mobile video game, known for its cruel and unrelenting difficulty. It was released to the iOS platform, to a resounding chorus of nobody noticing nothing at all.

Five months later, someone first mentioned it on Twitter: “Fuck Flappy Bird.” And it went viral, becoming the #1 free app on the iTunes App Store (and Google Play, as well), earning its creator an estimated $50,000 dollars a day in advertising revenue. Oh yeah, and it was tweeted 16 million times. That’s 16,000,000 individual tweets. (Holy &$#%!)

Then the assholes began to gather, like the motherfuckers at Kotaku, who falsely accused the author of stealing graphics from Mario games. (No link, because screw Gawker. They’re like the National Enquirer, but without the Enquirer’s sense of decency and ethics.) The author, an unknown Vietnamese programmer, was thronged by local press, his house engulfed by crazed reporters and photogs, like he was a Kardashian or something.

Eventually, to escape the abuse and press, he withdrew the app. Phones with it installed started selling on eBay for thousands of dollars. (!) (I don’t get it, either.)

Clones of Flappy Bird began flooding app stores. At one point the top three free apps on the iTunes store were clones of the soul-crushingly difficult birdy game, and a new clone was appearing every 24 minutes. (!) (I don’t get it, either.)

All that was a few months ago. Now Rolling Stone — yes, that Rolling Stone — scored an exclusive interview with the reclusive Vietnamese programmer behind the global phenomenon.

Check out the interview, and more on this insane story, here.

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