February, 11 2014 10:09:00

Game over for Flappy Bird

The game Flappy Bird has taken the world by storm in recent weeks, setting the Vietnamese media into a frenzy over the last few days. For the first time in ages, a Vietnamese youngster's name has hit every major media outlet in the world. And for something so cool.

But Nguyen Ha Dong, the 29-year-old creator started to go crazy because of the unexpected popularity of his game and became entangled in a bizarre twist of events. The #1 download game on Android and Apple Store reportedly brought Dong, an almost unknown game developer, US$50 thousand a day in advertisements. No one really could verify this, but it certainly helped spread the hype.

The media then ran stories accusing Dong of stealing ideas from other games already in the market. The Vietnamese media even suggested that tax authorities should start looking into the situation.

In an announcement posted over the weekend on Twitter, Dong asked the world, especially the press, to leave him alone and stop over-rating the success of the game. He even decided to pull the game down to try and restore the simple life he once had.

Many Vietnamese are saying that Dong couldn't handle the jealousy from the Vietnamese media and the public. Let's face it, who could? If the good luck story had happened anywhere else but Viet Nam, where global influence by such a young person rarely ever happens, the drama would have undoubtedly all been positive.

One thing we know for sure is that his insane creation has stopped flapping.

Gold shops thank God of Wealth

Hundreds of people rushed to buy gold on Sunday at popular Ha Noi gold shops to celebrate the day for the God of Wealth.

According to tradition, every year the God of Wealth pays a visit to heaven on the tenth day of the first lunar month. Vietnamese often buy gold on this day to wish for good luck and prosperity.

According to media reports, gold shops reported revenues for the day increased by 30-40 per cent compared with last year. A spokesman for Phu Nhuan Jewelry Co said his company had prepared 25,000 gold bars inscribed with the words Wealth and Fortune.

Some people reportedly skipped meals to wait in line for the super lucky metal. The rush sent gold prices soaring by VND300,000 a tael, but everything returned to normal yesterday.

At least, the gold shops managed to reap the wealth from the annual rush. thanks to his smiling eminence!

Whisky Galore!

According to online newspaper VNExpress, in 2012 a police officer from southern Long An Province stole 52 bottles of contraband Chivas whisky from the police storage room, reaping profit of about VND100 million ($5,000).

The liquor had been seized during investigations into economic crimes in the district.

The policeman was only charged at the weekend, a year later after he was found committing the theft. We wonder why it took so long to prosecute such an apparently easy case?

Pity the Red River

A resident back from holidays in Cambodia is impressed how the Mekong River that passes through the heart of the capital is the centre of attraction - and the night-time hub of the city. He reminds us that Vientianne, the capital of Laos, has a similar relationship with the same river.

Yet here in Ha Noi, the Hong or Red River, described as the cradle of the Viet civilisation, is allowed to slide through Ha Noi almost ignored. There are no river walks or avenues of trees and playgrounds.

The days when sea-going ships berthed in Ha Noi and endless rivercraft carted goods up and down stream are largely gone. So are the inlets that once flushed all the lakes and creeks throughout Ha Noi- and kept them stocked with fish and turtles!.

Slum settlements now encroach right down to the river banks, emptying their sludge and sewage into the once revered stream. It is so sad to see such a wonderful river treated with so little respect. — VNS

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