“Love of money is the root of all evil.” This solemn message greets you when you first open the top-selling game Make It Rain: The Love of Money. Despite this cautionary advice, this app focuses on nothing but money.
Released on March 31, the entire premise of the smash hit game is to accumulate impossibly massive amounts of wealth. Swiping up on a stack of bills, the player earns money to purchase in-game items. While this seems to be rather commonplace for games nowadays, Make It Rain rises to a higher level of buffoonery. With the money that you make from swiping, you can purchase items and make investments that only serve to further the rate at which you acquire money.
Along with swiping, you have a constant stream of money – known as investments – flowing so long as the app is open and businesses, which increase the size of the bills you swipe. Additionally, you can have buckets, which accumulate money even when the app is closed. And if you get unlucky, the FBI comes and seizes some of your capacity to earn as well as a sizable part of your profits.
Pursuing ever larger bills to swipe, ever bigger buckets to fill, ever more lucrative investments to fund, the game seems to be a complete waste of time, and rightly so. An endless cycle of monotonous swiping hardly seems appealing. But some downloaded it, thinking that they would swipe a few dollars just to see what the trending app was all about and delete it soon after. For most users, that was how it started. I know that’s how it started for me.
By Friday, May 9, Make It Rain could be seen all over the campus at Jesuit. At a school of bright young men, a game which features an apparently fruitless pursuit of virtual money ran rampant. Enthralled by the simplicity of the concept and, more importantly, determined to make it rain more than the guys next to them, Jesuit students could soon be seen everywhere swiping furiously at their screens.
Many still held the same sympathy that the game was inane and one-dimensional. Nonetheless, this viewpoint changed somewhere along the way for many cynics. Many downloaded it out of sheer incredulity, in disbelief that such a silly game could be so popular. But perhaps they were wrong.
Starting with just a bit of mindless swiping and exploration of the interface, many students began to swipe during a passing period. But before long, the spirit of competition took over the school. Although the money was still rather meaningless, it now stood as a mark to beat. It was a record of one’s achievement in an insignificant world that centered around making money rain.
Before long, the swiping was everywhere. Lunch tables were filled with students ensuring that they would earn the most money, that they would be the fastest. Some wiped sweat from their heads as they picked up the pace. Others tried different techniques to make money fly as quickly as possible.
At no time did anyone really consider what winning was or if you could even win in a game like this. I know I certainly didn’t. And while some looked down on those who carelessly swiped away at their screens, many never looked up from their screens to notice.
While the pursuit was pointless, it nonetheless provided a harmless source of enjoyment and community that is not often found in an app. Some criticized the app for its vapid nature, but most simply wanted to see what the craze was all about.
Ultimately, Make It Rain came to a close for most. Whether they got tired of the game or reached a point they were satisfied with, students enjoyed it only as a passing trend, an app at its peak for perhaps one day. I remember coming home to a screen which read “YOU WIN!” Now that the game was over (I had reached the maximum amount of cash currently allowed), I didn’t really know what to think. I was happy that it was over, without a doubt, but I also wondered if I had wasted my time completely.
But, in the grand scheme of things, Make It Rain was a nice break from the AP and exam season of May. As foolish as it was, it provided a time to do nothing but sit back and swipe, conscious of nothing but the people directly around you.
It also made me consider how, as students, we are constantly expected to perform and produce, with no designated time for “recess.” Oftentimes, people don’t take to step back and smell the roses, to take some time to relax.
So perhaps Make It Rain was not as inane as it was once thought to be. Maybe we should all take some time to make billions of virtual dollars every now and then.