The 21 emotional stages of playing 2048

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Guess you just have to start over. AGAIN.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know the game 2048. If you’ve been living in The Rock, then you’ll definitely know what we’re talking about. 2048, or the ultimate game of life procrastination, requires players to combine tiles with the same power of two on them, adding them together to form a single tile of their double, until reaching the tile numbered 2048. Easy, right? Oh, hell no. Though it may seem harmless at first, with its cute square tiles and soothing pastel color scheme, be warned: 2048 will take over your life. It already has. You’re reading this post, aren’t you?

As a therapeutic exercise, we jotted down the 21 emotional stages of 2048:

1. You enter the game for the first time, ever. You don’t know what lies ahead. You don’t yet understand how numbers turn into addiction. Two lone numbers stand on the board. Ok, this isn’t so bad.

2. The third square appears. You use the arrow to move it up, and you’re further convinced of your intelligence.

3. But before you know it, the board becomes as cluttered and anxiety-inducing as the counter at Darwins. Your numbers are still mostly small, however. Move the left key, and everything, somehow, moves. What the feck just happened? Why did so many tiles change at once? Wut????? Seriously.

4. Suddenly, the board opens up. Your strategy (or whatever you think is a strategy) forms. Numbers are being added, and colors are changing, so basically you’re killing it.

5. You hit 256 for the first time! Mazel tov! You should consider concentrating in CS and Math! …..But eventually, you lose. So, you play again.

6. You sit in the SciLi basement for four consecutive hours playing 2048.

7. You play without “trying” to play, so inevitably, you lose, which makes you very, very mad (even though you weren’t trying… right?).

8. Now you’ve learned the hard way that 2048 requires actual attention and focus.

9. On the other hand, sometimes you get as far in the game when you focus as you do when you don’t focus, which is aggravating.

10. You hold a grudge against 2048 and refuse to keep playing. Relationship status: #it’scomplicated.

11.  You get a notification from the app on your phone — yes, there’s an app too — reminding you how much you hate yourself that you still haven’t won.

12. You give in and start playing again: on your phone, on your computer, in class, walking to the Ratty, on the toilet… everywhere.

13. A single 1024 tile is now a familiar sight, but the other one is nowhere to be seen.

14. You estimate that everyone else in the world has beaten the game besides you, based on Facebook statuses and Instagrammed screenshots. You feel unworthy of life unless you beat it too. All you want are social media bragging rights.

15. You stay in both Friday and Saturday night playing 2048 (this may or may not be a true story).

16. You have a 1024 again, nbd. But then you get a 512. And a 256. You can feel the end is near. You start shaking. If you hit the wrong arrow key now, your life is over.

17. There they are. Those two mustard-yellow 1024 tiles. You hit the arrow and they slide perfectly into each other. It was meant to be. Those two beautiful words “You Win!” appear, and you can die happy.

18. You Instagram, tweet, and Facebook screenshots of your accomplishment. They don’t get as many likes as you had hoped, but whatever. Victory.

19. You swear you’ll never play 2048 again. You’ve let it control you for far too long. Willpower is key.

20. But everyone around you is still playing, and you lust to tap those arrow keys just once more.

21. A friend asks you if you’ve gotten 4096. What? You can keep playing? Challenge accepted.

Congratulations! You’ve reached all 21 stages. Take 21 shots. Actually, make that 2048 for good measure. Cheers.

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  1. This is a great step by step guide of how many of us think while playing 2048 or in fact many other puzzle games.
    It seems that many of us are succumbing to their charms but not many people know why.
    as I go to work the amount of people I see playing these games is extraordinary. Some people playing even during mid convocation.
    I just wrote a blog entry comparing and contrasting both 2048 and candy crush saga to see why many of us feel compelled to keep playing (step 19) and which one will ultimately win our affections for time to come
    I would love to know your thoughts

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