The Tomato

Controversy surrounds app which extends gameplay

Nadia Helal | Fulcrum Contributor

A NEW APP created by the makers of Angry Birds has enraged children and adults alike.

The success of Angry Birds and other games seems to have created one major problem with users: batteries are draining quickly. But Rovio Entertainment has made additional battery life available at the tap of a button. The feature is available for $1 on all smart phone operating systems.

The average mobile phone user spends 2–4 hours a day playing games and often sits awkwardly beside outlets to charge his or her phone while playing. The solution? An affordable app that immediately charges phones. For years, experts have said that software cannot be used to charge hardware, but the makers of Angry Birds have proven the experts wrong.
“Our prayers have been answered,” said the official spokesperson for the Coalition of Angry Birds Users (CABU). “We have been playing for years and have often missed important phone calls and messages due to the short battery life that affects our lifestyle.”

However, some professors at the University of Ottawa are concerned that this app will only worsen the declining attention spans of students.

“This feature appeals to obsessive game players,” said a U of O English professor whose class is filled with game addicts. “Having the option to push a button and recharge their phones will simply perpetuate a growing epidemic in our classrooms. No one wants to listen to us when they have the option of going for a high score.”

Meanwhile, a representative for Online Gamers Anonymous has declared the app a step backward for its members and is afraid for their future.

“One of the main reasons people come to us is because they can’t handle their phone being dead all the time,” she said. “That’s the point at which they recognize they have a problem. Now there is nothing to stop them from sitting on a couch and playing all day.”

Despite the backlash, there are still many happy customers expected with the release of this app, which should be ready near the end of August. Studies have shown spikes in depression amongst university students in September as short battery life begins to take a toll in classrooms. Psychiatrists across the country have tried to encourage other hobbies —even the option of paying attention in class—but it seems their efforts have been in vain.