Saturday, August 28, 2010

I have a new friend

I'm not much into video games. I'll watch other people play in order to be social, but I'm not that interested in blowing things up and I'd much rather read someone else's adventure than choose my own. Tank Wars is the game I enjoyed best as a kid. I'd say it was my favorite game ever, but there's another, far more addictive game that I have recently re-encountered.

In 2003 or so a friend of mine sent me a link to a "super addictive game." As I mentioned, I don't really do video games, so I figured there was no harm in me clicking on the link. I'd fark around with whatever it was for 5 minutes and then get back to work. Except that my friend had sent me a link to Collapse! In case you're unfamiliar with it, Collapse! is one of those deceptively simple games where you click on three adjacent pieces of the same color and they (*poof!*) disappear. Because that in and of itself is not very exciting, at the same time more pieces are being added to the bottom and the object of the game is to keep the wall of colorful bricks from reaching the top of the screen. It's addictive-even if you're not that into video games.

I found it so addictive that not only was I dreaming of Collapse, I was walking around Cambridge choosing to step on similarly shaped/colored bricks in groups of three so that they would...well, what I expected them to do was unclear to me (obviously not disappear) but I couldn't help being drawn to sets of three. Eventually I stopped playing the game (I downloaded a freeware game that was much less cool than the online version and that killed my interest) until last week.

August is a really boring month in the Financial Services world. It's not a quarter end and most of the clients (and the staff) are away on vacation. It's even more boring if you do tech support-as opposed to client-facing activities (there's so little to do that during the lean years-when they cut salaries and lay people off I get paranoid about job security.) So since there was not much work to be done and there wasn't anything particularly interesting happening on the internet I decided to check and see if anyone had written a Collapse! app for iphones. It turns out someone had. While it's true I'm not that into video games, playing a game on your phone is a little less obvious than sitting in your cubicle reading a book.

I am pleased and slightly appalled to say that Collapse! is back and it's better than ever. I really feel bad sitting at work and playing games-even when there is no work but I also hate sitting there staring at the wall and I'd done every kind of boring preventative maintenance and data cleanup that I could think of to the PCs, the CRM database and anything else that's well-being was my responsibility.

As I was saying, I'm pleased to say that Collapse is alive and well and living at the App Store. It cost me $.99 and I have to say those were 99 of the best laid out pennies I've ever spent. "Got Time You Need To Pass-Try Collapse!-Makes Hours Disappear!" However, after less than a week's ownership of this little piece of software I'm a bit alarmed. I can always pause the game if something important is going on (this was one of the reasons I allowed myself to purchase it.) Things that are not important enough to pause a game so far include talking to my boss on the phone and de-training from the Commuter Whale. This morning I caught myself playing the game while at the beach. This afternoon I was trying to run the app on my computer-just so that I could play it on a bigger screen. That would be me- Cantabridgienne who prefers a 19th century novel to Super Mario Brothers any day of the week.

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