Waste Your Entire Life with Cookie Clicker
So, earlier today, our beloved Inside Gaming Daily Twitter posted this:
Hey, instead of working or going to school, why not click on cookies all day? http://t.co/7Pk8faYjJ1
— Inside Gaming (@InsideGaming) August 27, 2013
Curious, I started to click the cookie. And clicking it. Then I bought an auto-clicker! Then I bought another. Then I kept buying upgrades.
An hour later, and my game is clicking 46,253.3 cookies per second, with a bonus 21.9 cookies every time I click manually. I have 51 cookie clicking cursors, 43 cookie-baking grandmas, 17 cookie mines, and five portals to the cookieverse, just to name a few of the upgrades I’ve been able to buy. In short…I have a fuckton of cookies.
What I like about Cookie Clicker is that it lays bare how arbitrary our definitions of “game” are. I’m not doing anything fundamentally different than I do in any other game. I push the button, and a thing happens. I’m upgrading stats and thinking “strategically” about how to do “better.” There’s even a story! A news ticker at the top of the screen scrolls through updates. “Your cookies have achieved sentience,” it says. “Cookie farms suspected of employing undeclared elderly workforce.”
The news has no bearing on your game, but that could also be said about nearly every other game. The story is going to unfold a certain way. Even if your actions in-game change the story, you’ll probably still be pushing buttons to make things happen on the screen, just maybe slightly faster.
Moreover, this game is difficult to stop playing, because it requires so little of your brainpower.
So what I’m saying is that I love Cookie Clicker. And I also hate it, because I started playing it over an hour ago…and I’m probably not going to stop until I buy at least two time machines.