We all know the game 2048. It was insanely popular a few years back, and just about everyone was obsessed with it. Then, about 2 months after it went viral and ruled over the App Store, everyone stopped playing. Why? Because everyone had beat the game, and it just wasn’t really all that fun anymore.
Everyone besides me, that is.
See, when the game got all popular and stuff, I never really played it. Call me a contrarian, call me a Scrooge McDuck, call me whatever you like, but sometimes I just refuse to do certain things when that thing gets stupidly popular (still haven’t watched Stranger Things, and I never really plan on doing it either). So, when 2048 took off, I just didn’t really get all the hype. All you do is swipe blocks and get bigger numbers until you fill up a little board with mis-matching numbers and then you lose. Like… how could that possibly be a fun game? The day I start playing a game with addition and numbers and stuff is the day I become a gigantic nerd and I just wasn’t willing to make that commitment to being a damn nerd, said I a few years ago.
Well, everything has changed now. I was sitting in an airplane terminal about 4 weeks ago (yes, I’m a traveling man. I’m very cultured). And I was bored out of my damn mind. So, somehow the idea popped up in my mind to download 2048 again and give it a shot. I then went on to play for the entire 4 hour flight. I just couldn’t get enough. And yet, for 4 hours I couldn’t get 2048. It was the most frustrating thing that’s ever happened to me.
Fast forward 2 weeks, and I finally got the 2048 square for the first time. I had been playing religiously for about 2 weeks with no success, so you can imagine my excitement when I finally got that damn 2048 to pop up on my screen. I don’t want to exaggerate or sound ridiculous or anything, but it was easily one of the most rewarding feelings of my entire life. This happened during the school day, so I immediately told all of my friends expecting to be mainly confused as to why I was playing a game that was popular like years ago, but also to be thoroughly impressed with me and my skill in phone games. (Side note: I’m notoriously bad at video games, so actually accomplishing something in a phone game is pretty significant for me, so I expected my “friends” to be happy for me)
Were they happy for me? Were they impressed? NOPE. Instead, they all immediately downloaded the game, just to prove that not only could get to 2048 faster than me, but about 4 of them got to 2048 WITHIN THE HOUR. Nothing has crushed my confidence more. Getting rejected by a girl, losing a starting spot in basketball, nothing. This was simply soul crushing. But like, whatever, I thought. My friends are all pretty good at games and stuff maybe they all know some strategy that I don’t know or they cheated or something. I kind of just tried to shrug it off. Then, the real tragedy happened.
About a day after I told all of my “friends” my amazing feat of getting 2048 and beating the game, one of them came up to me and said, “wait… you haven’t even gotten the 4096 square yet? It doesn’t count until you get that one”. WHAT????? You’re telling me that the game is called “2048” and that when you get the 2048 square it says “You won!”, but IT DOESN’T COUNT until you get 2048 AGAIN and then match up your two 2048s and get 4096???? what the fuck? What kind of awful awful society are living in if you have to do above the bare minimum to win?
Now, you’re probably wondering, “ok Owen, clearly this was pretty frustrating that everyone you know is far superior to you at this random game, but like, why is it ruining your life like the headline says?” To which I would respond, my dear reader, I have not stopped playing. this. god. damn. game. in. two. weeks. I play during class. I play during lunch. I play before practice. I play after practice. I play in the car. I play when I should be working. I play when I’m watching TV. When I pick up my phone these days, I’m playing 2048. Do you know how much this is hurting my flirt game on snapchat? I have no time to think of the clever, witty, and handsome snapchats that I’m known for to respond to girls with these days. If I get a snapchat, I’m sending back a quick “lol” or “haha ikr” and that’s it. And the worst thing is, I recognize that these aren’t good snapchats, and they’re not good conversation starters, and yet I really just don’t care. Because I have to get back to playing 2048. Because I’m addicted. Because I have to get that 4096 square because nothing else really matters to me right now.
Addiction is a fickle thing. And there’s no easy way to break such a devastating habit like the one I’ve developed. They always say that the first step is admitting there’s a problem, though, and I fully recognize that there’s a problem. The only thing, though, is that even though I know there’s a problem, I have absolutely no intention of solving that problem. I’m all gas no brakes when it comes to 2048, and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. (unless I get to 4096 sometime soon. Which I think we all know will take like at least another month)