Are you a moron?

October 7, 2010 at 5:32 am Leave a comment

The game’s title, unfortunately, is The Moron Test. Its name almost puts me off from downloading it altogether. I figure it’s a game that will go out of its way to insult and belittle. But it’s free and well reviewed, so I download it from the iTunes App store and start clicking through the answers. FAIL! START OVER it screams back at me. I start over, and over, and over. It’s freakin’ addictive. Just when you think you’ve got the hang of it, it throws another doozy your way. You twiddle your thumbs haplessly, stumped, until you have a mini-eureka moment and move on again.

I’m not one to wax poetic about video games. Somehow I missed the pull when I was in my teens in the eighties. Since then I’ve tried to understand the appeal but I inevitably get frustrated with the repetitiveness involved, the pervasive lack of narrative, and the uneasy sense that I could be doing something better with my time.

Then last week I discovered The Oregon Trail in the iTunes App store. My pulse quickened. The last time I’d played that game I was a 10 year old kid in my social sciences class in Prince George, BC, Canada. It was a year or so before my family uprooted itself and crossed the ocean to the African continent. I loved that game. I can still remember how much I looked forward to going to class, to learning more about the early pioneers and their rush for gold. I left the country before I had the chance to complete the voyage. And now, with the click of my thumb, I had a chance to relive the glory days.

You know you’re starting to get old when you get nostalgic.

I made it to Oregon with my digital family intact, even if their health was poor and we only had $87 to spare. I decided video games could be fun after all. So I check out some of the other offerings. That’s how I happened on the The Moron Test and the very closely related Imbecile Test. In both cases you follow deceptively easy questions that get incrementally harder as you proceed (e.g. the words Don’t Press appear, along with a button and it’s up to you to decide which instruction to follow). It’s simple, addictive and easily shared with friends. It forces you to focus, pay attention, and follow instructions.

If only school could have been this much fun!

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Entry filed under: Technology.

Why forgiveness is worth it Just an ordinary day

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