Problem Gaming: When You Take Five iPads Into The Shower

Illustration for article titled Problem Gaming: When You Take Five iPads Into The Shower

"I hate my job," George Yao told The New York Times. After moving across the country to a tiny apartment, to a city where he had no friends, he found an outlet in Clash of Clans. Then Yao found himself standing in the shower with five iPads—individually bagged—struggling to preserve his No. 1 ranking in the game.


Matt Bai has a gobsmacking profile in today's Times of Yao, 25, which veers between being a profile of a game-obsessed young man and a hall of fame plaque for a gaming celebrity known as "Jorge Yao." After walking away from Clash of Clans—holding its world No. 1 ranking for six months, a virtually insurmountable record—Yao reflects on his career "with a mix of pride and revulsion," writes Bai.

"Looking back, I think I must have been insane," Yao said.

Yao's parents—who moved from China to Philadelphia—would read about him in Chinese-language message boards. He'd show up in the game and make guest appearances in other clans and it was like having a celebrity come to your birthday party. Fans following on Twitter found him touring wine country in Napa County, Calif.

Bai's profile is gripping, especially as it concerns a title we don't cover much here on Kotaku. It ends well, but Yao did have to come to what addicts call a moment of clarity before ceding his No. 1 ranking and his record for total trophies earned in the game. He's taken a job to market a similar game, made in London, moving there to take the gig.

But during his run as Clash of Clans greatest player, "my day job was a means to an end, paying the bills, and my real life was the game."

Master of His Virtual Domain [The New York Times]

To contact the author of this post, write to or find him on Twitter @owengood.



enough with the ipad gaming... its a fucking joke and if Apple was any little bit serious about gaming, they would of already of had a hand held / gaming console already with plenty of great games to support it. Apple tried that in the past and they fucked up so bad that they are afraid to try it again. They can't, because the only fucking games they have on their over priced tablets are casual games and who the fuck wants to own a gaming device with nothing but casual games??? Maybe my mom... but every time i see an article on a gaming website about ipad... it just pisses me off... its not a gaming machine... just because i can play snakes on my old nokia monochrome phone, does that make it a gaming machine? fuck no... now where the fuck is the article on the Nokia?