No, it’s not 42. And besides, the ultimate question isn’t “What is the meaning of life?” It’s “Why are people so damn addicted to Angry Birds!?!?”

Charles Mauro, a human factors engineer, looked into this big question himself. What compelled him to explore the Angry Birds phenomenon is in the numbers: Worldwide, people spend 200 million minutes a DAY flinging bad-tempered fowl at green helmeted swine. That translates to 1.2 billion hours per year. To put that in perspective, a total of 100 million hours has been put into creating and editing content on Wikipedia, since its inception. Mind. Blown. (And all hope humanity lost)

So, what did Mr. Mauro conclude? Why do we spend our time like this? It has to do with the game’s simple interaction model. But it is not simply that the UI is simple; it is both simple and engaging. Why? Because of “the carefully scripted expansion of the user’s mental model of the strategy component and incremental increases in problem/solution methodology.”

He also goes into many little details that make Angry Birds unbelievably addicting: (continued after break) Continue reading

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