Vodcast: The Dark Side of Angry Birds


Angry Birds has a deep, dark secret.

Their insidious secret? They don’t really care about the eggs. They’re after something much, much more precious. Something each of us can only dream of acquiring more of. Something men and women have chased for thousands of years.

And they aren’t working alone. They have cohorts. We’re all surrounded. Chances are they’ve already infiltrated your home. I know they’ve invaded mine.

There is, however, some good news. They can be tamed. We can make them our friends. We just have to show them who’s boss.

How you ask? And what are they after in the first place?

Lucky for you, Paul and I are tackling those very questions.


Who wrote this?

Jake Roberson is Plugged In’s social media manager and strategist. He’s the father of four children and husband of one wife, and he quite likes life that way. He also likes writing about entertainment, pop culture, dadhood … and food. He’s also a former Guinness World Record holder for participating in the largest hacky sack circle. Catch up with him on Twitter @jake_roberson

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Dan Haynes More than 1 year ago
"The Dark Side of Angry Birds?" I guess that headline will generate more clicks from Concerned Parents® than a more accurate one like "The Dark Side of Poor Time Management and Lack of Self Discipline." Good grief. 
jake_roberson More than 1 year ago
Ha ha ha, hey, we all have a dark side. Even the Angry Birds. ;-)
Alex Clark More than 1 year ago
Already posted, but I suddenly had a new comment.

The only time my brain goes "quit" is when I'm asleep.  Seriously. And even then their are dreams ^^.  If I'm not engaged in a story or studying (be it through a book/tv show/movie/video game, etc.) or concentrating on a particular task, my mind is always ALWAYS actively thinking about something.  Sometimes its even doing that WHILE I'm working, if the task at hand is simple enough that it doesn't require extreme focus.  I have imaginary conversations with myself or other people I know, or imagine I know ^^, or I'm thinking about events of the day, or stuff I'm going to do later, or about a book/movie/video game/tv show that I like and haven;t played in a while.  Sometimes I imagine having conversations about those things with other people.  I imagine conversations I'm going to have with people before having them, planning out what I'll say and how they might respond and how I might respond.  I imagine blog comments I'm going to right; like this one right here ^^.

The point being, my mind never stops, ever, except when I sleep.  And even when I'm in the process of going to sleep, I usually am thinking about specific things, usually things that make me feel relaxed to get to sleep.   I can't even imagine what it would be like to *stop thinking* all together, like through meditation or stuff like that.  Seems like it would be like not existing.  
jake_roberson More than 1 year ago
I haven't ever gotten to a point of non-thinking, either. In fact, it took me an hour and a half to fall asleep just last night because I couldn't stop thinking and mulling and analyzing.

But, I think, that's actually the point we're getting at. Not that we should have more time shutting down our minds, but more time where we are actively engaging our minds and thoughts with fewer outside distractions. Be those distractions books, movies, or casual video games.

What that looks like for me (or needs to look like), in many cases, is finding times and spaces with no casual video games... or less-than-casual video games... or movies... or TV... or books... and allowing myself to "simply" think and wrestle and mull.

It's in those spaces, I've found, where I am most creative and passionate and driven. But then I too often don't act on the creativity and passion and drive because I wind up becoming distracted again and losing sight of my goals. So my goal is to find ways to extend my time in distraction-free (or at least distraction-lite, the kids are almost always around :-) ) zones so that I can take action on things that otherwise are too often sidelined as I try for another trophy in Madden. =D
Alex Clark More than 1 year ago
Jake, anyone told you that you look like Jack Black ^^

I don't think a Sega Nomad would have been considered "casual gaming".  That's a term that usually refers only to those mindless simplistic cell-phone puzzle games like Candy Crush and Angry Birds, rather than just "any handheld video game".  

I don't think its fair to blame video games specifically for this problem of "avoiding boredom".  If they weren't filling their times with video games or TV shows, kids would be filling it with other things, like reading books, playing sports, etc etc.  Of course you guys would probably love that; because doing those things is "more legitimate" than playing a video game, in most people's eyes.
jake_roberson More than 1 year ago
Yes, but typically only when I let my hair grow out and it's been a few months since my last date with a treadmill... so, it seems its about time for a few more dates!


Your point about the Nomad is fair. In my particular case, however, I was only allowed to play casual games and even those only occasionally. We had pretty tight limits on screen time growing up. So that's the context for me there, ha ha.

And it isn't fair to blame video games specifically, which is why I wanted to be sure I mentioned the other mediums we use to avoid boredom before we wrapped up the episode. Because you're exactly right, although video games often make an easy target for folks, we use all sorts of things to avoid boredom--even books! :-)