Draw something, anything ...

The free app Draw Something requires you to express words in picture form.
The free app Draw Something requires you to express words in picture form. Darryn Smith

THE booming popularity of a two-player game called Draw Something is causing a slump in workplace productivity.

Not dissimilar to the board game Pictionary, the free app requires you to express words such as "xerox" or "voodoo" in picture form, with your stubby index finger as the paintbrush and your phone as the canvas.

Thus far, the game has racked up 30 million downloads and more than US$100,000 in revenue from players buying "bombs", which allow them to cheat by skipping undrawable words such as "tempest" in favour of easier options such as, er, "door".

At the time of going to press, it was also set to be snapped up by social-network giant Zynga (the company behind time-shredding titles such as FarmVille and Words with Friends) for $200m.

Most drawings are gloriously inept. Notions of scale, perspective and hue are jettisoned in favour of blunt visual clues; my depiction of "snowball" was faintly pornographic, "widow" a bit insensitive, and "Germany" something I'm not at all proud of. (Obviously no one polices the games, so if you were stuck on "soldier" you could always just write "SOLDIER" on the screen in desperation.)

Then, before each turn, the app plays back in real time your opponent's last guessing attempt as your miserable effort - complete with errors and false starts - reveals itself. It's joyous. The only downside (although cunning from a games design perspective) is that the games never seem to end. You just keep drawing, badly, for eternity; a dystopian future in app form.

Topics:  apps productivity web world

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Weekend remembering the forever young

Weekend to Remember our loved ones killed on the roads.

Paul Capsis set to bring the music to Tropical Fruits

HIT: Paul Capsis accepts his award for Best Performance in an Australian Contemporary Concert at the 6th Annual Helpmann Awards in Sydney, Monday, July, 31, 2006.

With a show called Addicted to the Nightlife

Daughters break down in nursing home murder trial

Outside Sydney Supreme Court for the trial of accused murderer Megan Jean Haines are (from left) Shannon Parkinson (granddaughter of suspected murder victim and St Andrew's aged care centre resident Marie Darragh) and Janet Parkinson and Charli Darragh (daughters).

Account of mother's autopsy drives daughters to tears

Local Partners

Exterminate! Exterminate! The Daleks are coming

THE Power of the Daleks is one of the most celebrated Doctor Who adventures, revived in a brand new animartion 50 years after it was broadcast in the UK

November will be a big month for NORPA

ARTS: NORPA has added new shows to the Dreamland season from November 23 to December 10.

Peter Garrett, Dreamland and the 2017 Season Launch, among others

Barry Gibb is coming to Bluesfest 2017

FANS: Barry Gibb talks to a fan next to a cardboard cutout of his young self.

Aged 70, Gibb has re-launched his solo music career with a new album

Declan Kelly and the Rising Sun to shine bright at festival

Declan Kelly & The Rising Sun is one of the headlining acts at this year's festival.

Main stage set to pump with radiant reggae and dub vibes

RECAP: The Bachelorette S2E12 - the finale

Georgia Love pictured in a scene from The Bachelorette finale.

GEORGIA chooses Lee and leaves Matty J heartbroken.

The Bachelorette finale: Georgia declares her love for Lee

Georgia Love with The Bachelorette winner Lee Elliott.

MATTY J left heartbroken in emotional grand final.

Exterminate! Exterminate! The Daleks are coming

BCC Lismore will be screening a limited-run theatrical special presentation event of Doctor Who: The Power of the Daleks animated series from Saturday, November 12.

This is one of the most celebrated Doctor Who stories

Tom Cruise credits success to Scientology

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise credits his success to Scientology

Hacksaw Ridge leads AACTA Awards nominations

Andrew Garfield and Teresa Palmer in a scene from the movie Hacksaw Ridge.

MEL Gibson's wartime drama opens in cinemas next week.

Top 5 events at Tropical Fruits 2016

IT'S ON: Tropical Fruits Festival over New Years.

Festival guide hits the streets this weekend

Tough times in CBD: Woolies says goodbye Ipswich

Woolworths in the Ipswich Mall.Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

The last day of trading will be January 1

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

How to fit 100,000 new homes on the Coast

Property, real estate, housing, suburb,  August 2016

Fitting 2m extra people in south-east Qld in 25 years a balance

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June