It’s happened. Just when I thought I couldn’t be more distracted throughout my workday by all the people chipping away at my will power with an email, a g-chat, a facebook message, a tweet, and of course, a good old fashioned news article – along came the most time consuming (and highly entertaining) app ever to hit my iPhone. By now you are probably one of the millions of people who have caught onto this phenomenon in the past few weeks, but in case you haven’t, it’s a great new app for the iPhone/iPad called “Draw Something.” It’s made by a company called OMGPOP and it’s essentially a digital/social version of Pictionary. Doesn’t sound all that sexy off-hand, but trust me, this thing is addictive.
Now, I didn’t hop on the band wagon right away. The last thing I needed was another app sending me annoying little notifications (that I know I can turn off but choose not to for some reason). But after seeing how much fun everyone was having, I caved. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about! And just moments after installing it, I was off and running, surprising everyone – including myself – with my above average drawing skills. I mean, if people could figure out that I was drawing the old TV character Alf, then I must have been doing something right. I started one game after another and couldn’t wait for people to respond and give me another chance to decipher their scribbles and respond in turn with a whole new drawing. You might think that all the fun of the classic game of Pictionary would be lost when it’s just you and your mobile device, but the clever creators of the game solved that problem. When it’s your turn to guess, you actually see every move your opponent makes, as opposed to just the finished drawing, and can guess anytime. Of course there isn’t all the loud hooting and hollering that typically goes on, unless of course you’re the type who likes to yell at your phone (no judgement!) but it’s just as fun without it. I mean, if millions of people enjoy games like “Second Life” where people virtually socialize with their avatars in cyberspace rather than actually getting together in reality, then you can handle a little quasi-solitary Pictionary.
So move over, Words with Friends, there’s a new sheriff in town. With over 35 million downloads in only six weeks, Draw Something has taken the social gaming world by storm. And with popularity comes the big bucks. Only six weeks after its release, Zynga (maker of huge social games like “FarmVille”) snatched up the company for a cool $180 million dollars. Not a bad start to the new year for the once struggling start up. If only I had come up with this incredibly simple yet simultaneously ingenious concept first. But alas, no millions for me. Just another daily distraction that will prevent me from ever having the time to dream up anything quite like it.
Before you head over to the app store, voice your choice in today’s featured poll and tell us which of these popular social games is your favorite?
Words with Friends