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What the @&!£ is Nibbler?

Last night I watched a Netflix documentary, “Man V Snake”

Nope, not a nature film, it was actually about computer games and a chap called Tim Mcvey. On 15 January 1984, Tim took part in a gaming marathon lasting 44 hours and 45 minutes at Twin Galaxies Arcade, Iowa, USA. Playing a game called Nibbler, he racked up 1,000,042,270 points, which he did using only 1 quarter.

He goes down in gaming history as the first gamer to reach a Billion points, and is even in the Guinness Book of Records.

Claire Roper, what the fuck is nibbler?

“What the fuck is Nibbler?”

So before you think my language has taken a turn, this is actually a direct quote from the documentary, as a gamer, who impressed with Tim learning a billion points, literally had never heard of the game. While other games, PAC Man and King Kong where more popular, Nibbler was a relativity unpopular and unheard of game.

So what is Nibbler?

“It’s an arcade game released in 1982 by Chicago-based developer Rock-Ola, in which players navigate a long snake through an enclosed maze consuming food along the way, while the length of the snake increases with each object consumed.” - Wikipedia

I played a variation of this game on my Nokia mobile phone in early 2000’s, called Snake. And I can honestly say, I got no where near a billion points. I was pretty rubbish.

44 hours and 45 minutes

My first thought when watching this documentary was, wow, Tim, that’s a lot of time to spend in front of a computer screen. But Before we get all judgey about a marathon 44 hours (and 45 minutes) playing a computer game, according to the statistics we aren’t much better.

Reports show British adults spend 7 hours and 56 minutes a day consuming media.

In fact, our thirst for screen time has reached high proportions, with statistics showing some pretty drastic amounts of time spent interacting with media:

  • Time spent online (for any activity) continues to rise and now stands at 4 hours and 43 minutes per day (an increase of 27 from 2016). source

  • Smartphones have become so pivotal to the lives of millennials in Great Britain that 65% of them are looking at their phone within five minutes of waking and 60% look at their phone within five minutes of going to sleep. source

  • Social networking services, which are now capturing 2 hours of online time a day – half an hour longer than they were in 2012. source

  • Netflix UK viewers are bingeing so hard that they’re watching 13-part dramas in 24 hours. source

  • Users spend an average of 35 minutes per day on Facebook - source

  • There are 500 million Tweets sent each day. That’s 6,000 Tweets every second - source

  • Users under 25, now spend up to 32 minutes a day on Instagram, on average, while those 25 and above spend more than 24 minutes per day. - source

While I’m not sure I could do 44 hours straight gaming, I’m not really too keen to add up my overall screen time on a weekly basis, so tonight I think I might read a book.


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