Tribute to Flappy Bird's Dong Nguyen reminds us not to bully

Australian music-game studio 7 Bit Hero has released its very own rather poignant contribution to Flappy Jam.

Australian music-game studio 7 Bit Hero has released its very own rather poignant contribution to Flappy Jam.

(Credit: Hans van Vliet/7 Bit Hero)

Flappy Jam is still going strong, with 765+ games. The jam was created as a reminder that "indie gamedevs are friendly and supportive; envy and teasing should not belong to our community, nor be a cause of suffering", and to that end all the games therein pay homage to Flappy Bird; but an offering from Australian studio and band 7 Bit Hero, popular for its live music gaming events, caught our attention as distinct from the pack.

Created by Hans van Vliet (who you might remember from his work on the rather great little arcade endless skateboarder Penny Time) in his spare time in just under a week, the game, called Hey You! follows Flappy Bird creator Dong Nguyen just after the launch of his game.

And it's a sad story. Nguyen was not expecting his game to go viral, nor was he expecting the harassment, threats and bullying he received.

"[Hey You!] puts you in the shoes of Flappy Bird's developer Dong Nguyen from the initial release of the game to his sleepless nights while witnessing threats, suspicions and hate, and eventually, to the deletion of his game," van Vliet wrote.

The game play is a little like Flappy Bird: you have to navigate Nguyen from his computer to bed, veering to avoid the walls. Nguyen follows a zig-zagging, diagonal path, and you simply tap any key to avoid crashing into walls and obstacles; however, as the game progresses, nasty Twitter comments — taken from actual comments sent to Nguyen — begin to bombard the developer from all sides, making him harder to see and therefore control.

The soundtrack is a rather lovely song penned by van Vliet himself. Also called Hey You!, it's a call to take a step back, simmer down, and not make that nasty comment on the internet.

You can play the game on, and download the song for free via Bandcamp.

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