Flash: The Bane of My Existence

Flash is every bit a part of the internet as html is.  From websites to browser games; you’d be hard pressed to find a part of the web that doesn’t use Flash one way or another.  Designers and users alike swear by it’s ability to do anything and everything, and to do it with style.  So why do I hate it’s ever-living guts?  Allow me to impart upon you the wisdom I have gained over the years, in the form of a list.  Because everyone knows list-based articles are the epitome of internet humor.

4. Web Sites

There are many problems with flash websites, the biggest of which is the horrible, horrible habit of going all out.  When flash first became feasible for more then just 5 minute videos on Newgrounds.com the internet was flooded with the most useless websites ever.  As though some god on high told every major brand in the world to waste every penny possible to ruin all of our lives by replacing perfectly functional websites with pictures.

the nutritional value is the drink


And as if being the worst site map ever wasn’t enough, sometimes the sites would go all out: songs in the background, constant animation, irritating noises every time your mouse passed over something that could be clicked, and then the inevitable crash that would result, since you know…it’s only been…what?  a month since your internet could handle more then 56kbps.  And while we don’t quite suffer from the same lack of internet as I did in jr. high, if you open to many tabs everything will eventually go to pot.  But to be honest even that isn’t my biggest complaint.  No, my biggest complaint is the complete inability to copy anything.  Flash completely renders any attempts to copy text or to save pictures as futile.  For someone like me that was a big slap in the face.  I am in fact Dyslexic.


The real joke was that it took me a year to actually get the joke.

I have a complete and total inability to spell anything.  Without spell check everything I write would be a close proximity to the actual word, but at the same time completely illegible.  So when faced with a big word, or web address my only option is to pretty much copy and paste it.  Or I could spend 20 minutes trying spell the damn thing.  So flash is not only obnoxious but it’s also not handicapped accessible.  So thanks for that.

3. Programming

Flash uses it’s own special (and by special, I mean short bus special) programming language called Action Script 3; it even comes bundled with the most useless debugger in existence today.  Programming in flash is an exercise in futility.  I can not emphasize enough how awful it is as a language.  As a game designer, flash is like the kiss of death.  during college I had seen more then one development team dig their own graves with it.  The minute someone declared their game project was going to be in flash it was understood by everyone present the game would never work.  I was never once proven wrong in 4 whole years.  Even in the class on making flash games not one ever worked.  Seriously.  The amount of effort that goes into creating flash games can be considered equal to a playstation 2 game.  I can’t even make a joke about how awful that is.

2. Animating

I like to fancy myself something of an animator.  Flash however was all to happy to put me in my place.  Or it would be if it was an actual animation program, because I hate to inform flash, but I know how to animate, and that’s not how you do it.

It’s a piano right?


As someone who only had experience with actual hand drawn animations up to this point, when I first opened flash I was completely lost.  I mean yeah, you have layers when working with real animation or even claymation, but aside from that absolutely nothing makes any sense.  My entire experience with flash was nothing but abuse.  Sure in actual animations you have key frames and between frames, but actually using any function properly was nothing short of a miracle.  Accidentally delete a frame?  Ok undo.  Wait?  Undo didn’t work?  Ok well I’ll just make-what?  What do you mean “can not make key frame”?! I Just had one there three seconds ago!  Ugh, fine I’ll make the next……what the fuck?  No, that’s not!  Fine.  I’ll delete the whole god damn row.  Hows that?  Wait.  Now I can’t turn any of them into frames?  What the hell?!  FINE.  I’LL DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN FROM THE BEGINNING.

1. Shockwave

I know you’ve all seen it. That dreaded message that means you now have to reload every tab you have open open.  Depending on the browser you’re using it will either look like someone threw up a puzzle on your screen or a mine field.

Truly deadly.


What the hell is wrong with flash that it crashes every tab?  Didn’t someone take steps to stop this from happening?   But even if you have never experienced a full blown crash, it’s not uncommon for a flash game to choke for no good reason.  About the only thing reliable about flash is how often the games crash, and the nicer the game, the more likely it is to drop the ball in weird and nonsensical ways.  The Sims, the last flash game I played, often had animation glitches and frequently updates would completely wreck the most random parts of the game.

Poking flash is like poking a bear.  There’s a 25% chance you won’t get mauled.

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