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Addiction in the app store

03-addicting apps b and WEvery once in awhile, my mother gets tired of my texting which forces me to use my cellular device for a different purpose. So being the follower I am, I download whatever app my friends are currently addicted to.

They play, I try desperately to catch up to their level of progress, and then I feel miserable when the game wakes me up at 2:58 a.m. because my tractor has stopped collecting coins.

Some apps are horrible, time-sucking little black holes that act as a spermicide in the creative womb your once-productive brain was. It starts off simple enough–you want to harvest coins, build your zoo, catch them all, slice fruit with your wicked ninja moves, or help that little bird get wherever it thinks it is going–but soon everything takes a turn for the worse.

That paper you have due? You will not be writing it. You will be lying in bed for three hours eating Teddy Grahams and buying Frisky Bitz for a bunch of virtual stray cats that occasionally beg for food near your house.

Here are the apps that have ruined my life:

Disco Zoo: In this game, the player runs a disco-themed zoo, complete with double-point dance parties and rescue missions to get even more animals to keep you up at night. Yes, the game alerts you when the animals in your exhibit fall asleep and stop earning you coins.

This happens around every 30 minutes, unless you actively turn off notifications. I did not realize this was an option for the first three weeks I had it. However, zero out of 10 would recommend this app.

Expert Opinion: How do you feel about the addictive qualities of this game?
“Even if [my animals] fall asleep, the worst thing that would happen is that they would stop making money and if capitalism ended I wouldn’t be that upset.”
– Ly Malespina ‘18

Goat Evolution: I have lain in bed playing this ridiculous (yet somehow awesome) game for three hours. The player runs a screwed-up goat farm where small goats are combined with other small goats to create larger goats, which starts a cycle of goat-mashing, ethically-iffy mutations.

You use the coins they generate to buy power-ups and upgrades, such as a tractor that collects coins while you are away. And then it bothers you in class, late at night, or whenever you have to socialize.

Expert Opinion: What’s your favorite feature in the game?
“The goats.” –
Catherine Kleindienst ‘17
Neko Atsume: This game has no plot, but it is still my favorite app currently installed on my phone. It is simple: put the cat food out, let the cats come in, watch them play for some indeterminate amount of time, and let them love you forever. My virtual cats give me virtual love and that is all I need in this world, right?

Expert Opinion: How do you feel about Neko Atsume?
“In a bleak existence with little to look forward to, the words ‘meow loading’ paired with the small, chiming noise when I log into Neko Atsume remind me that not all hope is lost.

Even if I fail out of college or willingly get hit by a car so that I don’t have to pay off student loans, I will still be worthy of the company from 49 virtual cats. That is, as long as I can afford Ritzy Bits.” – Tierney Torchin ‘16

iFunny: iFunny provides endless funny pictures available in a single swipe. It is a one-way ticket to a memetic hellhole from which you may never return. If you see it on Imgur today, it will be on iFunny two days from now. For every eight posts, there is a moderately humorous image that will make you internally pronounce “LOL.”

Expert Opinion: How do you feel about the app?
“iFunny is to Tumblr as Hillary Clinton is to Bernie Sanders. #feelthebern2k16” – Lea Harvey ‘17

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