2048: the brainless game that won my heart

March 31, 2022 — by Serena Li
Senior finally reaches the 131,072 tile, the highest tile possible in the game, 2048, on March 24.
With the premise of combining tiles by sliding, the simpleness of the game makes is surprisingly fun and exciting

There are two tabs open on a split screen as I’m writing this: my Google Doc on the left side of my monitor, and on the right, a game that took the world by storm eight years ago: 2048, a single-player sliding block game with an ultimate goal to reach 2048 by combining the tiles that are powers of two. 

I know what you’re thinking: Serena, it’s literally 2022, and “2048” is so 2014. But last semester, this game somehow found its way back into my life.

It started with a flash of curiosity in October. I had been feeling particularly nostalgic while listening to old Cantaonese songs and rewatching soap operas of the ‘90s. Then, after seeing my mom sitting at the dinner table joyfully playing 2048 with a joyous expression, I wanted to play it too. 

The younger version of myself disliked this game, mainly because the highest tile I could reach was 1,024, and I felt no sense of accomplishment. Now, as an almost-high-school graduate well-equipped with the brains to play the game to its full potential, I love it. 

The rush of dopamine that comes with each scroll, which, according to Bustle, is due to the game’s predictability and ease, and the sense of achievement after hitting a milestone tile, makes the game extremely addictive. 

Now, I have two versions of this game downloaded on my phone — one with an undo button and one without — and three versions bookmarked on my computer — a 4×4 grid, 5×5 grid and 6×6 grid for when I feel like a challenge. Whether I’m in the car, watching a movie or even Facetiming my sister, I’m always swiping across my phone. 

My goal is to reach 131,072, the highest tile possible in the game. As I write this, I’m on a 3-day streak, with my score at 1.4 million and my highest tile being 65,536. I should probably write a longer story, but I have a 2048 game to finish now.

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