FlightControl

How am I supposed to manage six red planes at once? I mean I’ve already got three blue helicopters and three yellow prop planes in the air. They’re sending me too many at once and it’s not fair. I don’t know how I managed to land 42 planes on my last game.

I was playing FlightControl, again. Of late it’s become a consuming passion. I downloaded it for my iPod Touch. It’s an App, one of thousands, beckoning like siren voices each time I turn the thing on.

It’s remarkable really, this little bauble. I’ve carried an electronic organizer since 1994, when they were brand new and essentially nothing but trouble. I moved on in 2001 to the Handspring Visor, it was a trusty friend for many years in my last church. It held the phone number and address of every member of the congregation and included a bible, a calendar/schedule, a dictionary and a number of other useful doodads. The best part was that I could sync it with my computer. I typed in data on the computer then synced it to the device. I used it daily.

So, because my new charge began at the time of my birthday I felt I had dual justification for buying the iPod Touch. I knew it was primarily an entertainment device with organizational features added as extras. I wasn’t so much interested in the entertainment value of the thing. I wanted the organizing features: calendar, address book, etc. That stuff mostly hasn’t worked for me, so I’ve been forced to move on to the entertainment.

It has a remarkable storage capacity: 16 Gigabytes. I’ve got a number of books on it including three bibles, John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion, 32 Volumes of Charles Spurgeon’s sermons, Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained and several other smaller books. I’ve also got a dictionary and a quotationary, YouTube, TV Guide, weather and stock info and anything else you can find on the internet. All this has barely scratched the surface of its capacity.

If I wanted to I could also upload my entire collection of CDs and every digital picture we’ve ever taken.

But, it’s the Apps that are most fascinating. Apps are little programs you can download right to the device. There are categories for everything: news, photography, business, education, music, entertainment, productivity, health and fitness, games and thousands of others. Most are available for under £2 and many cost only 59p, some are free, so it’s tempting to browse the shop every time you turn it on.

Before FlightControl I downloaded Documents to Go. It syncs with my computer and now I’ve got all of my blog and my sermons on my Touch. I can read and revise them anytime I feel the need.

But, I don’t do video games. I never have really enjoyed them. I don’t get anything out of video games and have nothing to show for the time spent playing them. They are diversions, plain and simple. But, FlightControl has me hooked, by the nose. I’ve no idea how I managed to safely land 42 planes. It was quite a feat, a moment of genius. But, I’ve got to beat that score, I’ve just got to. Maybe just one more game…

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