Last Sunday, the creator of “Flappy Bird” pulled his app from the iTunes App Store because he said it was simply too addictive.
In the days since, people have taken to Twitter with their outrage and have even gotten on eBay trying to sell their phones with the already installed app. Some phones are listed for more than a thousand dollars. A local psychiatrist, Dr. Jay Fawver said he wouldn’t be surprised if those phones sold because gaming has become part of a larger problem of addiction.
“It stimulates the same part of the brain that’s stimulated by other chemical addictions,” Dr. Fawver said. He said when people play, they lose track of time and may forgo social outings or other obligations.
App creators said games such as “Flappy Bird” or “Candy Crush” become so popular because they’re simple but challenging.
“A sense of accomplishment and progression,” said Brian Lewandowski, the Software Engineering Program Director at Indiana Tech.
People across the country are applauding Nguyen’s decision saying it was a good judgement call. However, if the abrupt removal of the game made some go into withdrawal, Dr. Fawver said there are ways to wean off of it such as setting a time limit on the game when it’s played.
Gaming and internet addiction has become such a growing problem that it’s actually in the process of being written in to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.