Of all the enduring regrets of 2011, now in its fading last hours, the most galling for me would be not having cleared the Level 11 of Angry Birds’ ‘Season’s Greedings.’
There has to be some hidden message in three birds, two yellow and one white, not being able to pulverize seven pigs hiding in various corners of a wooden scaffold. I have tried dozens of assault techniques, trajectories and angles but failed to kill all the pigs. The best I managed was smashing six of them. The one on the extreme right of the frame invariably managed to survive unscathed.
I think I am asking the wrong question. Rather than asking “Why am I failing at this?” the question should be “Why is a man hurtling towards the twilight of his life catapulting flightless birds into an assortment of wood, concrete and glass blocks?”
I suspect there is a commercial conspiracy behind my failure because after every third or fourth attempt the game’s creators offer me ways to beat the level for just 99 cents. So far I have resisted the temptation because I figure I can pay down some of my debts using the 99 cents saved on the game.
In many ways Angry Birds is emblematic of what we have become as a civilization. We have been reduced to hurling virtual birds at virtual pigs, causing virtual death of either or both because virtual eggs were stolen. For those of you who may not be familiar with the basic plot of Angry Birds, the birds are angry because the pigs have stolen their eggs.
More than anything else, it is the easy and hassle-free cruelty and violence of this game that are deeply worrisome. Because it is fictional, animated and virtual, players do not think about the serious underlying problem with such games. I am a classic example of that because I have played this game too.
So my resolution for 2012 is not to play Angry Birds.
P.S.: For those not as resolute as I am when you chuck the white bird, I would recommend that you let it crash on the structure. It is more destructive than the massive egg drop that it does midflight by clicking your mouse once. The egg drop is more dramatic but less effective.
P.P.S.: The biggest draw for me is the sound that the pigs make when attacked. It sounds like “Hulll.”