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Tiny Tower is the new Angry Birds

A diary of early-stage smartphone game addiction.

11:30 a.m.: Receive assignment to write about a new iPhone game called Tiny Tower. Download it.

11:33 a.m.: Open app. Follow tutorial to build a residential floor. People begin to move in. Discover these people are known as “bitizens.” Adorable. Follow next step to open a food floor, because I know my bitzens are hungry. Hire a bitizen to work on the food floor. Close app and wait.

11:43 a.m.: Phone buzzes. Prompted to reopen the app and stock my tea house. A bitizen waits on the ground level for me to assist him in making it to the correct floor. My finger guides the way. Elevator is quite slow. Close app and return to work.

11:48 a.m.: Phone buzzes. “The tea house on floor 3 is ready to be re-stocked!” Already? I can’t. I have to work.

11:49 a.m.: All right, I’ll open it and just restock the tea house real quick.

12:10: Create two more floors. My bitizens now have access to a laundromat and video store. I want them to be clean and entertained. Because I care for them.

12:20 p.m.: Money begins to pour in to my bank account, meaning I can open more floors and stock more items. So many bitizens want me to take them upstairs on the elevator. It seems to be getting slower.


1:30 p.m.: Phone has buzzed multiple times, beckoning me back. Can only resist so long. Must check progress. Feel relief at seeing familiar pixellated images.

1:47 p.m.: Bitizen with green beard moves in. I giggle. Quickly glance around to make sure no one is watching.

2:05 p.m.: Take a VIP bitizen up to the bookstore so they will buy out my entire stock. Feel like a tycoon. Start to build photography studio.

2:25 p.m.: Longest wait of my life.

2:27 p.m.: I’ll just pay two Tower Bux so it will build faster.

2:28 p.m.: OMG it’s open now. The bitizens seem to love it.

3:04 p.m.: Help a bitizen find her long lost brother, who lives in the building. Feel accomplished.

3:30 p.m.: Floors are getting more expensive to build. Money not coming quickly enough. Not enough Tower Bux to go around. But I must succeed.

4:30 p.m.: Realize I have opened Tiny Tower every seven minutes in last hour. Drive to keep building quite strong. Deadlines at real job looming.

4:43 p.m.: Discover I can upgrade elevator to move faster. But I don’t have enough Tower Bux. Feel bad because I am poor. MUST KEEP BUILDING.

5:00 p.m.: Work to Tiny Tower ratio? 1:4.

5:30 p.m.: Day coming to a close. Barely met deadlines. Building my empire is all-consuming. Still can’t afford faster elevator.

6:00 p.m.: Leave office. Deliver bitizens to various floors all the way to the car. Is it illegal to drive and Tiny Tower?

6:10 p.m.: Almost crash into a tree. Pledge not to touch phone until I get home. Glance longingly as screen flashes to tell me my new floor is ready.

9:00 p.m.: Eschew dinner, friends, and television to continue to play. But you know what? I still can’t afford a faster elevator. Fuck this game.

Midnight: Just one last check-in before I go to bed...

8:30 a.m. the next morning: I've made 12,000 coins while I slept. I'm RICH! This is the best game ever!!!

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