The Newest Time Waster: Line Rider

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Line Rider has its origins in pokey old-school video games like Pong as well as newer flash animations such as George W. Bush Freefall, which depicted the President as a ragdoll flopping between different sized orbs in a neverending pattern. Unlike those diversions, however, Line Rider requires users to use their imaginations and sketch out a unique path — which can range from a simple 45-degree angle to a wildly detailed rollercoaster ride with obstacles, bridges, tunnels, even hungry sharks.

"It's been amazing," says deviantART founder Angelo Sotira. "Line Rider has become an event. It's viral growth at its best." The website, which launched in Aug. 2000 and now has 3.5 million members, receives 50,000 new submissions each day and stores 26 million works online. Sotira says a new version of Line Rider is expected soon, hopefully one with an "erase" feature as many users have requested.

You can find Line Rider in its original form here or a faster, downloadable version at here. Since its debut, the quirky program has also shown up on other sites such as the Independent Gaming Source, Squiddo and Fun-motion. Not surprisingly, players are saving and sharing their rad Line Rider stunts via YouTube, digg and various video blogs — hundreds of different clips are floating around, with our personal faves including "Helicopter Escape," "Trip to the Grave," and, yes, one set to Johnny Cash's I Walk the Line. Enjoy the ride.

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