Checking Boxes on a Website Is the Internet's Latest Obsession. Yes, It’s Addictive

  • It’s called One Million Checkboxes and was created by a single person.

  • The game involves checking boxes. That’s it. It's as simple as it is addictive.

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It’s not as common as it used to be, but there are still some moments of wonder on the Internet. One day, someone gets up in the morning, sits in front of their computer, and creates a simple yet captivating mini-game that captures the interest of thousands. Wordle is the best example, and now One Million Checkboxes is following suit.

Who's behind this phenomenon? Nolen Royalty, also known as “eieio” in the online world, is the developer of the game. Royalty is known for other quirky projects such as Stranger Video, a site that connects you to a stranger to see who can maintain eye contact longer, and Breaktime, a Chrome extension that turns Google Calendar into a Breakout-like mini-game.

One Million Checkboxes. Launched on June 26, Royalty’s new project has quickly amassed more than half a million users. The premise is straightforward: to check boxes. As such, the website features a million checkboxes, and when a user checks or unchecks a box, it reflects for all players. There are no specific goals, competitions, or rankings—just the simple act of checking boxes.

Hey, that’s my box! All you can see is a counter of all the boxes you’ve checked, the total number of boxes checked, and a search feature that allows you to find and check your favorite box. There are also colored boxes that represent other users’ cursors. And… that’s basically it. The competition is about everyone trying to check as many boxes as possible, and there’s a certain charm to it.

Is it really that addictive? Absolutely. The website is designed to be constantly updated, showing you how others check and uncheck boxes so you can always keep an eye on your own. Don’t worry, though. There are no losers in this game. Nonetheless, it makes sense that once you check a box you want it to be yours forever—hence the constant vigilance.

More than 500,000 players have ticked some 60 million boxes in just a couple of days.

Some stats. On Thursday, Nolan mentioned that One Million Checkboxes had more than 500,000 players on that day alone, and they’ve checked a total of 60 million boxes, which is around 42,000 boxes per minute. For context, Wordle, which launched in October 2021, only had 90 players in its first month but reached 300,000 players per day by January 2022.

Image | Xataka

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