Disclaimer: I realize the annoying irony in someone my age going on tirades about “newfangled technology” and expressing “I just don’t get the kids these day” sentiments; but know that I’m actually just really excited—albeit confused—by how fast things move lately. So before I leave the friendly people of Morrissey & Company for stranger waters, please indulge me one last time.
My first introduction to the iPhone game Angry Birds came just two weeks ago while messing around on my buddy’s phone (I guess I live under a rock…in a vacuum…in Antarctica. JK, Antarctica!). “This is sort of a fun game,” I thought.
Apparently it’s more than that. Since then, I think I’ve heard Angry Birds mentioned on no less than 50 unique occasions. Is this game really that great? What is it doing right? Today was mention #51: Rovio, the game’s developer, is planning an animated TV series of Angry Birds—hold the phone!
Simply put, I guess it’s just classic franchising. But I am interested in how it speaks to the increasingly relevant platform of the “app”—a nickname derivative that now seems to be outgrowing the very word it was coined from. “Bling Bling” was inducted into the dictionary in 2003 (Can we erase it yet? Who’s going to notice?), it’s only a matter of time before “app” takes its formal place in English canon.
And am I wrong, or did it used to be that the cell phone application was the final marketing supplement to a popular movie or TV show, their execution and production quality usually suggesting they were more or less an afterthought? As phones get smarter and smarter, sleeker and sleeker, their technology is incorporating and replacing just about everything else. Now it appears some of these apps can reach well beyond the confines of the phone and be the launch pad for a full-blown cultural flavor of the month. After all, the iPhone was the biggest thing to happen to bubble wrap since the Ming vase.
What I take from this is that more and more, people don’t want to be away from their phones. As this great Microsoft ad shows, they really are a weird, weird extension of ourselves, and can make you feel naked when you’re without (consider the feeling of “dead-battery-dread”). But I guess, thanks to Rozio, we’ll all soon be able to get our fix from one more source—when we begin turning on the TV to stare at our phones.