I've only been playing an online game called agar.io for a few days, but it's already consumed practically all of my free time. It's strange, but I've stopped traveling and watching movies! I'm guessing I have a few more weeks until my interest wanes or my loved ones become concerned enough to mount an intervention.
The game is quite straightforward. You're a blob who eats little pellets (food) and absorbs smaller blobs without being absorbed by a larger blob. Splitting in half allows you to send out half of your mass and engulf any small enough blobs in front of you. There are additional virus blobs that explode the bigger blobs, and you can eject your pellets by pressing 'w.' It may not appear to be simple at first, but as you start performing it, it becomes clear.
All of the blobs are controlled by real people on the internet, many of whom use racist usernames.
It's one of the most addicting games I've ever played since it's virtually real-time (multiplayer doesn't wait for anyone), and the graphics and gameplay are so basic that it's easy to get lost in it. However, as I've spent more time in the game, I've grown connected to its tactics and the deeper meaning behind it. For example, splitting your blob becomes a significant decision: in order to get larger, you must first become smaller and more vulnerable. More bulk makes you more difficult to consume, but it also makes you slower and more vulnerable to attack.
Even if it's unclear what all of this means, it feels like it should. A few contending theories are as follows:
Agar.io in terms of biology: The blobs are single-celled organisms that consume 'food' and divide by self-triggered mitosis, with the individual players attempting to recreate life as we know it in its most basic form. This notion is supported by the fact that the green blob-splitters are officially referred to as viruses.
Agar.io as online sociology: Players will frequently play as 'Reddit' or '4chan', indicating their commitment to a specific community and implying the game as a microcosm of the internet. The blobs represent various internet sites and communities. Notice how the game resembles the Internet Map, in which sites like Google and Reddit develop by siphoning users and material (mass in the game's language) from competitors, eventually devouring them whole.
Agar.io as a geopolitical game: Players will take the names, flags, and faces of international leaders such as Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin, and Angela Merkel. While the blobs can represent microscopic cells or online properties, they can also symbolize large nations contending for the benefits of commercial enterprise and civil society. Staying out of range is an important part of diplomacy.
Or is it just a blob game? I'm not sure; I'm too deep to say.