Wednesday Whackaloon: Dave Winer

It’s been a while since I bagged on the crankiest man in technology, Dave Winer, but he posted something recently that called out for abuse. In a blog post titled Why Angry Birds is so much fun Dave attempts to figure out why the iPad/iPhone game Angry Birds is so much fun. Of course, being a socially maladapted freak, he gets it wrong in a spectacularly horrendous fashion.

For those who are unaware, Angry Birds is an addictive game wherein you use a slingshot to fling birds at forts constructed by pigs. OK, that description sounded retarded, but just look it up in the App Store, you’ll love it. Dave, in his quest to understand the appeal of the game makes the following observation:

I know it sounds mean, but it’s probably the same kind of pleasure you get from breaking up your little sister’s doll tea party. Or your brother’s sand castle at the beach.

Right here Dave misses the point. Yes, the destructive aspect of the game adds to it’s appeal, but if that were the only reason why we like the game then people would just sit on level one blowing shit up. What makes Angry Birds so compelling, especially to those of us with the traditional “geek” mindset, is that it is a “puzzle” game. The obscenely addictive component of the game is attempting to destroy all of the pigs using the most elegant solution. That Dave Winer misses this, while not surprising, is highly ironic.

But it’s not the above lack of understanding on Dave’s part that raises this post to true whackaloon standards, it’s what comes next. The rusty cogs of Dave’s mind lurched forward into another thought:

Another thought hit me. When the elaborate pig forts topple it kind of looks like the Twin Towers coming down on 9/11. And the birds, well they’re a lot like a suicide bombers. Well, actually they are totally like suicide bombers.

They’re so damned angry at the pigs that they don’t mind killing themselves.

Whuzzat! If this were a podcast I’d be legally bound to insert a sound effect of a needle scratching or a car colliding with a tree. Yes, Dave Winer thinks that part of the appeal of Angry Birds is that it’s a 9/11 simulator. The mind boggles. That Dave, who currently resides in New York City mind you, would think that this is an appropriate comparison to make proves that he has no concept of how actual human beings function. He might actually have toppled Stallman as King of All Spergelords. On the other hand, no one has video of Dave Winer eating his foot-pickings, so Stallman’s reign is probably secure.