The best way to destroy your precious time

I recently downloaded an app for my phone. It’s called 2048. It’s horrendous.

It is so frustratingly addictive that I must have played on it for about 4 hours in the past two days. I realise that doesn’t sound like too much, particularly if you’re a games enthusiast, but it’s too much for me. A weekend doesn’t have many hours and when you spend four of those swiping away at your phone, it feels like a real waste.

Earlier today I was round at a friend’s house and I did the cardinal sin: I played it in the presence of others. Not even a little dip in here and there when the conversation lulled, but a fully blown “I don’t want to talk to you because I’m playing this game” trance.

I came away feeling sad at myself and like I had underachieved for the day.

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Why are you so frustrating?!!

2048 is a very simple game. You have a four by four grid, when you swipe the grid all the numbers move, when two of the same number are swiped together then they combine to make double that number, every time you swipe a new number (a 2 or 4) appears, once the entire board is full the game is over. Your aim is to get to 2048.

It’s freaking difficult. But it feels so easy.

As I walk around now, I want to swipe the world and combine two similar things. If two glasses are together I want to swipe them to make a tankard; if two chairs are together I want to swipe them to make a sofa; if two cars are together I want to swipe them together to make a lorry.

I’m scared that one day I’ll forget life isn’t a game and I’ll be left with two broken champagne flutes and shards of glass in my hand.

I would avoid this game if I were you. Once you start you don’t want to stop. What makes it worse is the fact that the target seems achievable and everyone else I know has got it. It’s crushing me inside.

When I close my eyes to fall asleep tonight, I’m sure I’ll see the number grid in front of me, taunting me, as if I could be strategic about where to swipe.

I’m hoping that once I beat it, my urge to play it will diminish…

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