In July of 2010, Ian Bogost, director of Georgia Tech’s Digital Media graduate program, was so disgusted by the “mindless” games taking over Facebook that he created one of his own. A year and a half later, the game has landed him in the pages of the current (January) edition of Wired magazine.
Bogost developed Cow Clicker for Facebook last summer as a joke. His only goal was to create a repetitive, pointless and unrewarding game that ridiculed popular successes such as FarmVille. In that regard, Cow Clicker was an overwhelming triumph. Players saw a cow on the screen, clicked the image and were told to return later to click it again. Aside from a “moo” and a notification on the player’s Facebook profile, nothing else happened with each click.
Despite its dullness, and to Bogost’s surprise, 50,000 people signed up within the first two months. Some even paid real money for the opportunity to click their cows multiple times a day. If you know Bogost’s sarcastic personality, you probably won’t be surprised to find out what he did next to the clickers.
Read the article here. Staying true to Bogost’s roots in our digital media program, the Wired story is also a game of its own. Each time you see the word “cow” in the story, click it. See if you can “cownt” all 97.