Commentary

Draw Something App Reveals The Artistic Chimp In Us All

New Yorker cartoonist Matthew Diffee tries his hand at illustrating the word "Travolta" using the Draw Something app. i i

New Yorker cartoonist Matthew Diffee tries his hand at illustrating the word "Travolta" using the Draw Something app. Courtesy of Matthew Diffee hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Matthew Diffee
New Yorker cartoonist Matthew Diffee tries his hand at illustrating the word "Travolta" using the Draw Something app.

New Yorker cartoonist Matthew Diffee tries his hand at illustrating the word "Travolta" using the Draw Something app.

Courtesy of Matthew Diffee

Every week, as part of a new tech segment, we'll be digging into our digital sandbox for some fun. New Yorker cartoonist Matthew Diffee is starting things off with a review of Draw Something, a popular app that works a lot like Pictionary: Players pick a word, draw clues and then watch as their opponents guess the answer. But, as Diffee explains, the app's name is a bit misleading.

First of all, I think the name "Draw Something" isn't entirely accurate; it would be more accurate to call it "Scrawl Something," because that's what I did. Or maybe "Draw Something With Your Foot While Bull Riding On A Boat."

I don't know if I have big fingers or not, but I'm playing it on a phone rather than an iPad, so it's like getting to drive a Ferrari on a racquetball court. It's just frustrating and it's not very responsive. I know how to draw well and so, in my mind, I'm making all these intricate little finger moves. And, in my mind, I'm drawing like a Rembrandt, but what's on the screen looks more like the work of Jimmy, the painting chimp.

The word "butcher" yields this original Diffee creation. i i

The word "butcher" yields this original Diffee creation. Courtesy of Matthew Diffee hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Matthew Diffee
The word "butcher" yields this original Diffee creation.

The word "butcher" yields this original Diffee creation.

Courtesy of Matthew Diffee

I sat down for, I thought, 20 minutes, and suddenly I'd been on there an hour. So I would say as a game, it's fantastic — and as a drawing tool, it's pretty terrible.

But it's actually helped me in a way. Even in cartooning, I tend to draw things better than they need to be and it's really fun to just sort of relax and just draw something badly.

You can share a review of your favorite drawing app in the comments below or send your comments to alltech@npr.org.


Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.