Apr 16 2011
Late at night in a dimly lit room, a group of strangers gather together. They’re organized into a circle and each in turn announces their name. Some dare say what brought them there. The walls are pale, adorned by only a few fliers and shuttered windows. The mood is penitent if not slightly hushed. And so one by one they each introduce themselves and sometimes confess their vice. And then it’s my turn to speak. Slowly I clear my throat and say, “My name is Steve, and I am a video game addict.”
Video games are a major industry. Many of them have Hollywood style production schedules and handsome budgets. Voiceover actors personalize the characters. With each passing year the latest 3D graphics make them seem even closer to real life. I remember in college, some students were hopelessly absorbed in playing games on the computer. A few kids flunked out of school over it. It blew my mind that someone could squander a college education just to play a video game. But then, I know only too well the allure of a good adventure quest.
Not helping the situation is the fact that these games are now accessible on our phones. You can get addicted to a game anytime, anywhere, no matter where you are. There’s no more getting out of the house to be safe from your compulsions. It’s always right there at your finger tips.
One of the most nefarious providers of Android games is Playandroid. Playandroid is an online repository of the best games and top rated apps for the Android.
And so cautiously I entered their site. I didn’t want to click on the link, but after years of giving into the temptation I had no will left to resist. Upon Playandroid’s homepage can be found a mesmerizing display of the hottest games on the market. Some are free; some are just a few dollars. By clicking on one of the games it brings up a game profile page. At first I thought I was safe as I didn’t see a download link. But then, right there in the center of the screen is the QR-code. All that stands between me and getting this game is holding the phone up to the screen and scanning the code. See video below of one such victim who succumbed to this terrible fate. No doubt he’s lost his job by now and is sitting hopelessly in the streets glued to his Android.
Defenseless and losing will power by the minute I looked through the various pages of Playandroid. The games are neatly categorized so as to entrap the largest amount of users. The main headings are Arcade & Action, Casual, Brain & Puzzle, and Cards & Casino. There are some who will resign themselves to their fate and go straight for their favorite game. For this they can use the basic search function, though the results come back so quickly few are heard from again. I managed to resist searching but my efforts to stay clean and above board were rendered useless by the ‘free’ tag. This brought up all the games I could install at no cost at all. I vaguely recall the words of a stranger in a dark room somewhere telling me the cost is in my life and in my time. But those words are gone. A free game is a free game.
A final tab, and the darkest of them all, is for the Developers. Here the sinister creators of such malevolent puzzles can register and claim they games and apps. In so doing they’ll be able to secure a wider distribution of their creation- wreaking widespread procrastination and ceasing all productivity throughout the land.
Playandroid is a huge source of temptation for those who lack the will power to resist good games. Its growing collection of top Android games is destined to be the downfall of many. From the enticing display of the latest popular games, to making them way to easy to install by putting the QC-code right on the screen, it’s bound to hasten the demise of throngs of unsuspecting gaming enthusiasts. As for me, I’m going to play it safe- relegated to a dark room with a bunch of strangers. But then it probably couldn’t hurt to bring the Android with me. I’ll stop after I finish the next level.