Waste Your Life Playing This Game Where You Check Boxes Forever

Screenshot: Lucas Ropek/onemillioncheckboxes.com

Those of you hunting for a new way to idle away the hours while you pretend to be productive at work are in luck. A new game has hit the internet that is the definition of a giant waste of time.

The One Million Checkboxes game has recently garnered attention on internet forums like Reddit and Hacker News, leading to a surge of players. How do you play? It is ridiculously simple. There are a million boxes and you try to check as many of them as you can. Just click on the boxes to check them. Or uncheck them. That’s it. That’s the whole game. The catch is that many other people are playing the game at the same time, and they’re all either checking or unchecking the boxes. This makes the effort to check all the boxes potentially endless. What happens if all one million boxes get checked? Can that ever even happen? Nobody really knows.

One Million Checkboxes is hosted by eieio games, a website created by Nolen Royalty, a software engineer and independent game developer. Royalty’s other games include weird stuff like telEyegraph, a game that converts blinks into Morse code, or Stranger Video, where you use your webcam to stare at a stranger for as long as you want to. Another game, Talk Paper Scissors, lets you play rock paper scissors with a stranger by calling a specific phone number.

One Million Checkboxes seems to have blown up recently. TechRadar reports that the game has spurred an online “war” between the checkers and the un-checkers, and tens of thousands of users appear to be involved. Royalty has claimed that as many as 500,000 players were involved at one point.

On his website, Royalty explains (or, rather, doesn’t explain) why he made One Million Checkboxes: “I don’t really know. The idea came up in a conversation last Friday and I felt compelled to make it,” he writes.

“This site was fun to make. It got me thinking about a new space of collaborative experiences that I want to explore,” Royalty said, adding that he made the game in only two days.

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