When the iPhone game Angry Birds hit the front page of the New York Times, we were amazed that humans were collectively clocking “16 human-years of bird-throwing every hour.” But has anyone ever met their mate on Angry Birds? They have on Words With Friends, Zynga’s popular Scrabble rip-off, which has been downloaded over 10 million times for the iPhone. One lonely day, Megan Lawless, 31, had no friends to play Words with, “so she hit the option on Words With Friends that allows play with a random opponent.” It would change her life forever.
From the New York Times, iPhone game-slash-human interest savants:
“It was a very out-of-character thing for me to do,” she said. But the game went well: she could tell that she and her opponent were evenly matched in terms of skill. Her opponent proposed a rematch, and repeated games led to chatting about their personal lives. Eventually, she found out that her opponent was a man, Jasper Jasperse, and that he was a firefighter who lived in Holland.
After they began e-mailing each other and talking on Skype, Mr. Jasperse asked if he could visit her in Chicago, “and we clicked right away,” Ms. Lawless said. Now, they plan to marry in July, and he will move to Chicago.
Point, counterpoint: For Brooklynite Alex Alan, also conveniently 31, just like Ms. Lawless, the social aspect of the iPhone game was too much:
For a while, “I was playing these anonymous people, seven or eight going on at once, and it was getting out of hand,” he said. He was playing Words With Friends, he said, when he could have been talking to his girlfriend. So now he restricts his games to a small cadre of people he knows in real life.
But at least he’s not a BlackBerry user; they’re doomed to die alone.