UNLESS you’ve been living in a pipe for the last month or so you must be aware of the Flappy Bird phenomenon.
Flappy Bird was a free game for iOS and Android mobile devices which became ridiculously popular.
Despite being out for several months already, the game surged to the top of the app stores’ charts recently - seemingly for no other reason than word-of-mouth through social media.
The game about guiding a bird through an obstacle course of pipes was simple to play but fiendishly difficult.
The Flappy Bird craze led to a tidal wave of videos, photos, memes and other web posts around the theme of how the game had “ruined” people’s lives by being so addictive.
After reportedly being downloaded around 50 million times and making around £30,000 a day through advertising, the game was pulled from the stores by its Vietnamese creator Dong Nguyen who said the success “ruins my simple life” and “I cannot take this anymore”.
The game’s removal from download has sparked another trend, with people rushing to sell mobile phones online at ludicrously inflated prices because they still have Flappy Bird installed.
One “battered” iPhone 4 with the game still on it was sold by someone from Sheffield on auction site eBay for a winning bid of a million pounds and a penny. Almost certainly a joke sale and a prank bid – though it would be hilarious if the vendor tried to enforce it as a legally binding contract.
At a slightly more reasonable but still absurd level, there are numerous sales which have gone through at around the £800-£1,000 mark.
Not wanting to miss out on a chance to cash in, sellers from south London and north Kent have also been getting in on the action by using Flappy Bird’s inclusion as an incentive for buying their used mobiles.
One lucky local trader has sold a 16GB iPhone 5 with the game for £850.
The most eye-catching of the current close-by listings is lyndahollywood2012’s starting price of £5,000 (with a slightly more down-to-Earth postage charge of £4.10) for her iPhone 5 with Flappy Bird installed. Unsurprisingly, it hasn’t picked up any bids yet but good luck to her.
Have you had your life taken over by Flappy Bird? How have you survived the game’s addictiveness? Have you considered selling your mobile with the game still installed to make some extra money? Have you ever been suckered into paying over the odds for something you considered a must-have at the time?
Fly on down to the comments box below and have your say.
UPDATE: If you don't want to fork out thousands of pounds on a phone with the game installed, you can play a free Flash version "close to the original" Flappy Bird here