I’m so Addicted to 2048 that I Now See It As a Metaphor for Life


I don’t remember life before I discovered a little game called 2048, but I wish I did.

If you haven’t heard of it, 2048 is a tile mashing game you can play on your phone or online. Tiles come in as 2’s and 4’s and you slide the board left and right to match them up, so they double up until you get to tile 2048. (Thus the name.)

I’ve missed train stops because I was so absorbed in beating my own high score. I’ve tripped on the sidewalk because I thought I could play and travel at the same time. I have ignored friends I sat with at the bar just because I needed to keep going.

It’s a problem, and through my mania I started to look at the tiles, searching for a strategy. And through that strategy, I realized that the entire simple game is really about life!

Okay, bear with me because I know it sounds crazy (and maybe it is. Actually, it is.), but playing 2048 is really about life and planning and trying. I mean, there are times when I think that I could play and reach a specific goal if I just plan every step carefully. Then there are times when I’m very much like “screw it” and I just swipe and play to just get the best matches, not caring that the entire screen is near full, which ends the game.

Sometimes I even catch a break and two high numbered tiles will match up and I’ll get a good score and all is right with the world.

Other times, my nonchalance ends the game quickly, and I realize that I need more forethought.

Then my forethought takes out a lot of the fun out of the game.

Or my forethought pays off and I get cocky and I forget about planning and just want to enjoy it.

Which inevitably trips me up.

But it’s okay, because I’ll catch a small break somewhere.

And the tiles will align for me.

Or they’ll just fill up the screen, and I’ll be so close to beating my score.

But in that case, I can always “Try Again.”

I sound crazy. I know that this is a sign of me going crazy. It’s also a sign that I need to step away from 2048 and do something in the sun or maybe something productive like job applications. But I can’t stop. It’s right there and it’s teaching me life lessons, namely I’m slowly going crazy.

And there’s nothing I can do about it.

So please turn away as I return to playing.


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