Judge John Hodgman Episode 127: 12 Angry Birds


Anna brings the case against her boyfriend, David. David says Anna is addicted to playing electronic games, to her own detriment . Anna says the games are simply recreational and relaxing, and that she can quit any time she wants. Is Anna a gaming addict? Only one man can decide.

Thanks to Kate Powers for suggesting this week's case name! To suggest a title for a future episode, like us on Facebook at Judge John Hodgman! We regularly put a call for submissions.

If you want to join our conversation about this episode, please click on the Forum link below!



Submitted by David
My claim is that Anna's denial of 'addiction' abuses the spirit of the concept. I submit in evidence a dictionary definition of the word, and its origins in the idea of being 'bound or devoted' to something. I think that it would be hard to argue that this is not an apt description of Anna's gaming. I think that a consultation of her playing statistics (which she is submitting herself) bear this out; they add up to a considerable period of time spent playing 'Sweet Squash', the game that has prompted this dispute, as well as 'Malevolent Avians' and 'Arachnid solo card game' (alternate names used to avoid 'buzz marketing').
Please see: dictionary definition of “addiction”.

Submitted by Anna
Here are some of my games statistics. As regards to the Spider Solitaire it should be known that I have only played on this computer for 6 months, i.e. the statistics should be considered within that time frame.

Gameplay statistics
Since we spoke I have timed my Candy Crush play time which has so far amounted to only 4h 6mins. (This would be about a 48 hour period).
Please see screenshots of playing times and achievements for other games.

Angry Birds survey
“The conclusion of this research as regards to my case is plain to see. I am above the age of 25, employed and not single, therefore I fall into the category for whom Angry Birds has been shown to both make the player relaxed and improve their mood."

How Does Angry Birds Make Players Feel?
More than half of the gamers AYTM (Ask Your Target Market Research) surveyed feel relaxed and report that their moods improve when they play Angry Birds. However, younger players are more likely to be in a worse mood after playing Angry Birds compared to people over 25 years of age. Single and unemployed folks are also more likely to see their moods deteriorate when they play Angry Birds than those who are married or employed.

Internet Addiction Test Results

"To further drive the point home about my non-addiction I took the test below. I would say that the result rather proves my case."
Internet Addiction Test (taken on the Center for Internet Addiction's website, http://netaddiction.com)

Your time: 00:02:07
You have reached 35 of 100 points, (35%)
20 – 49 points: You are an average on-line user. You may surf the Web a bit too long at times, but you have control over your usage.



"No one doesn't like Bill Cosby"...

Say It Three Times Fast

Sweet Squash
Sweet Squash
Sweet Squash

How'd you do? . . . Thought so. Keep playing.

Wasn't Froggy referenced in a

Wasn't Froggy referenced in a Stephen King novel as well?

WTF is "Sweet Squash"?

Does Anna mean Candy Crush? A round of Googling only brings up recipes of winter vegetables. "Sweet Squash Game" does not bring up any gaming sites.

BTW, I am smitten with Anna and David should be warned not to screw up a good thing.

Yes, they're talking about

Yes, they're talking about Candy Crush. They try to not use the actual names of the products because, buzz marketing.

Not the whole story, and What to listen to on a road trip

Judge Hodgman got the math correct in that Anna was playing that one game about an hour a day, but then there was a brief discussion of the fact that she plays 2 other games also, for approximately the same amount of time, and then everyone seemed to agree that she plays all three games for about an hour a day in total. This is not possible. If we already determined that she plays a single game for an hour a day, she cannot be playing all 3 games combined for a total of an hour a day, her total game playing time must be more than an hour a day.

Regarding the clearing the docket letter about what to listen to during a road trip, the perfect choice is obviously JJH podcasts. Since discovering this podcast, that is all my wife and I listen to during long car trips. No fighting over the music and laughs all around.

Lazy Math Shortcuts

So since I like lazy math shortcuts, I wanted to point out a quick way to come up with the daily Candy Crush estimate.

6 days in 6 months - Both are 6 so ...

1 day in 1 month - Then convert to hours and days ...

24 hours in 30 days (approx) - Convert to minutes ...

1440 minutes in 30 days - Divide ...

48 minutes in 1 day

So there you have it! (And that's just ONE game.)

Brought to you by a supreme geek.

Squeaky The... Hamster?

I just finished watching several Andy's Gang videos on the internet and they are as strange and as terrifying as Judge Hodgeman said. I can see why the use of live animals as puppets would linger nightmarishly in the mind. By the way, I think Squeaky the Mouse is played by a hamster.


Those accents fake. Them accents totes not real.

Good episode.

Froggy's Lament

Your Honor... I'm gratified to finally understand what "pluck your magic twanger" means. It's been a mystery to me for years. However, does the fact that Frogger wasn't released until 1981 invalidate your judgement here? You keep referring to it as a song from the late 70s, which clearly IT CANNOT BE!


Listening to the Judge perform arithmetic hurts my whole body.