Pineapples are not a single fruit, but a cluster of up to 200 fruitlets. The largest watermelon ever grown weighed 262 pounds. An orange is technically a Hesperidium, a kind of berry. How did I become a fruit trivia guru? My expanding collection of fruit-related fun facts are courtesy of the biggest distraction in my life: Fruit Ninja.
Ever since I saw my friends playing the iPhone game during registry three months ago, I have been obsessed. I spend passing periods, car rides and will admittedly even forgo talking to my friends in favor of slicing up mangoes with my samurai sword. I dodge the trap bombs and jump at fruit combos to get the highest possible score. I even learn a fun fruit fact at the end of every round. Of course, this has become an excuse to opt out of doing my homework for this similarly scholarly moment while simultaneously indulging my addiction.
Fruit Ninja has turned me into a gaming nerd. I still don’t know how to play a Game Boy, and I can barely even operate my computer, but recently I’ve caught myself daydreaming about flying pears. My daily high score dictates my mood, so I am forced to keep my eyes glued to the screen to avoid the nasty effects of withdrawal.
My nightly attempt to study is frequently interrupted by challenge requests from some of my equally obsessed friends, which has been no help to my junior-year sleep cycle. I’ve been forced to exile my phone to a separate room or find myself distracted by the rare dragon fruit and its 50-point bonus. This, at least, shows progress; I’m beginning to confront this out-of-hand situation.
As far as I knew before purchasing this app, I didn’t have an addictive personality. In fact, up until a week ago, Fruit Ninja was still the only app I’d ever bought. By the time I realized the extent of my obsession with Fruit Ninja, I had made a whole new discovery, brought to me in the form of a catchy song blasting from my friend’s computer. Once I saw the Robot Unicorn Attack app, soaring fruits were soon replaced by stampeding unicorns. Yet, no matter how much I love magical creatures and inspiring theme songs, I will always drift back to my swift blade, the familiar fruit juice splatter on the walls and my sensei, a wealth of fruit-slicing knowledge.
A version of this article first appeared in the Jan. 28, 2011 print edition of The Lowell.
Illustration by Vivian Tong.