Is Duet Brainwashing Me? App of the Week

Apple had Duet as the app of the week, and I need something to pass the time on the train and toilet (not train toilet). Pinterest will only entertain me for so long. My quest for addictive apps is insatiable. Have a minute in between tasks? There should be an app for that.

Side note: I witnessed a man go into the bathroom on-board the train with his laptop. He was watching something on Netflix. Now, THAT’S captivating entertainment.

My interest and sustained use of an app is like the lasting flavor of Zebra Stripes. I’m also usually late to the party. First it was Draw Me, then Temple Run. There was a lull until Trivia Crack. And now there is Duet. None of these apps last for more than a month, which attests to our shortening attention spans. Not only do we isolate a few minutes for a mental distraction, but those distracting apps only captivate us for a few weeks.

Duet is addicting in its simplicity and brevity. As detailed in the program on NPR on how to make killer apps, it has all the addictive elements. But I fear Duet is brainwashing me to communism or Scientology. There’s a gentle woman’s voice that reads from some suicide handbook. I’m still not sure if it’s pro- or anti-suicide. In addition to the soothing and simultaneously disturbing voice, there’s music that can best be described as “glow sticky.”

Those born in the ’80s will appreciate the Ganon-esque throwback to Zelda in the final level when blocks disappear.

All that comes together to make a game that is spreading rapidly in my office. One coworker said it was too stressful after playing for a minute. Others have become hooked. We compare levels and watch as others play.

zelda, ganon, nintendo, nes

Warning: Playing in the office, on the train or even by yourself may cause others to be concerned for your well being. My grunting has surpassed that of Maria Sharapova.

Then there is the fist shaking and denial.

“NO! I pressed left!”

I fear the message on the last stage will be something about drinking Kool-Aid.


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