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Angry Birds knocked from Top Free perch by Bubble Ball, made by an eighth grader

If ever there was proof that neither we, the wise sages of Joystiq, or you, the savvy consumers of video game-dom, can ever hope to fully understand the delicate balance of the iPhone App Store ecosystem, this is it: The holiday-themed Angry Birds Seasons Free has been knocked from its perch atop the Top Free Games category by ... Bubble Ball. Which was developed by an eighth grader.

Young Robert Nay from Utah developed the game with his mother using the Corona SDK from Ansca Mobile. Making its debut less than three weeks ago, Bubble Ball has been downloaded over 1.5 million times, sending it to the top of the iTunes App Store, and dropping Angry Birds a pitiful three spots to number four. Of course, Angry Birds classic is still the Top Paid game, so it's hard to get too choked up.

Speaking of getting paid, the Corona SDK doesn't yet support in-app purchases, so the Nays will have to be content with the knowledge that their creation is bringing joy to hundreds of thousands of bored public commuters (not to mention adding a meaty bullet point to a certain someone's college application). For comparison, take a moment to reflect on how you spent your eighth grade year and then drown your sorrows in some Bubble Ball.

Motivated by either an unhealthy Messianic complex or a dearth of career opportunities (he never could decide which), Chris put his college education to good use as a carpenter before becoming editor-in-chief of Joystiq and editorial director of Joystiq's own Massively and WoW Insider.

In those roles, he's served as an IGF judge, an E3 judge, a VGA judge, and a podcast host; interviewed many of the industry's familiar faces, from Bill Gates to John Carmack; spoken at plenty of places from MIT to GDC; and appeared in or on CNN, The New York Times, BBC, all while reporting on the video game industry for the world's top gaming news and information site.

He hangs his hat in the cultural epicenter of the video game industry. Philadelphia.