ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
Every week, as part of the new tech segment, we'll dig into our digital sandbox for some fun. It may be a game, advice about how to behave in the internet age, or today's revue of a popular app called "Draw Something."
It's like "Pictionary". Players pick a word, draw clues, and then watch as their opponents guess the answer. We asked someone with artistic prowess to give it a try.
MATTHEW DIFFEE, BYLINE: Yeah. The first thing I was supposed to draw was a peanut.
SIEGEL: That's New Yorker cartoonist Matthew Diffee.
DIFFEE: And it looked like someone had stepped in melted cheese.
SIEGEL: As we'll hear in Diffee's review, the apps' name is a little bit misleading.
DIFFEE: OK. So first of all, I think the name "Draw Something" isn't entirely accurate. It'd 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 mean, you know, you - 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 just like - it's like getting to drive a Ferrari on a racquetball court.
It's just frustrating. Like, oh, oh, come on. And it's not very responsive. You know, like, I know how to draw well, and so, in my mind, I'm making all these intricate little finger moves. And, you know, and I'm drawing - you know, 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.
To sum it all up, I sat down there for, like, I thought 20 minutes, and suddenly, I'd been on there an hour. So to that level, it was very successful in, like, passing the time and being entertained. And as soon I let go of the idea of it being like a drawing tool and embraced it as being a game, then it was wonderful. I'm one of those guys - 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.
SIEGEL: That's New Yorker cartoonist Matthew Diffee. And if you'd like to see some of his sketches, perhaps his "Draw Something" rendition of John Travolta, or give a review of your own favorite drawing app, visit our website at npr.org. Next week, we'll introduce another new piece of our All Tech segment, a social media advice column. So please email your tech comments and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.