I downloaded 2048 more than a year ago.
“You’ve got that obsession with numbers, right? You’ll be great at this!” exclaimed a friend. “Let me know when you beat it. It’s SO addicting.”
They were right. 2048 was addicting. And I was pretty good at it . . . yet somehow, never good enough.
I tried for months to beat that game. Months of swiping (left, right, left, down but NEVER up) after midnight, months where I’d give up, only to be back playing again within weeks, weakly giving in to the original challenge. “I am good at this,” I told myself. “I can do it.”
At some point, I gave up, theoretically for real this time — for months, which anyone addicted to the game will understand to be quite the achievement. Then one day, I began again. Call it a brief moment of weakness, call it a hunch, call it destiny — I don’t know what it was, but the need to win was back and stronger than ever.
I’d like to say that days after this renewed passion, I won the game in some crashing victory that brought the crowd to its knees. But no, I won because of two things: my roommate, and the promise of pizza.
Sweet, sweet pizza.
I had just discovered 2048 online and was sitting on the couch with my fingers glued to the arrow keys. It was like any other game: good, but not too good. I’d probably lose around 17,000 points, with two 512 tiles staring longingly at each other from across the board.
“What are you doing?” my roommate asked, sitting down and peering at the screen. “Oh. You still haven’t beat it, huh?”
I did my best not to glare, since she’d beat the game at least a year before me.
She chuckled. “If you beat it on this game, I’ll buy you a pizza.”
I laughed momentarily and turned back to the screen. That’s when it happened.
The tiles began working, the numbers were in my favour, my fingers were flying, the digits were climbing, and a sense of elation was rising in my stomach (yes, I know what that sounds like). “Holy shit,” I said. “Holy shit, I think . . .”
And within 30 seconds of the word “pizza,” the 2048 tile was mine.
That pizza tasted like victory. And cheese, but mostly victory.
All this to say that if you’re still swiping back and forth every day trying to beat 2048, don’t worry. It will come to you when it’s meant to — and hopefully it will get you some free pizza. For me, it was worth the wait.