It seems like half the people I know play Candy Crush Saga. I base this on the insane number of Facebook invites I've gotten and the look of manic glee in their eyes when the addictive candy-based puzzle game comes up in conversation. It's a fun little puzzle game, for sure, but it has also unexpectedly taught me several life lessons.
Photo by m01229 Abandon all hope, ye who enter here...
5. Addiction takes many forms.
One of those forms manifests in the relentless candy matching game play of Candy Crush. Forget the schmaltzy music that accompanies this game; the soundtrack should be a continuous loop of "Sister Morphine" or "Waiting on the Man," because the dead look in your eyes a few weeks after Candy Crush gets its hooks in you is one more often associated with serious drug addiction. It starts off innocently enough. You download the game for free, and its cute but fun gameplay goes along well for maybe ten or 15 levels before you hit the first difficult one. Maybe you have to replay it a time or two, and then you move on, happy to have bested the challenge.
Soon, though, those challenging levels often turn into what I think of as "Total Bastard" levels where a person might get stuck for days at a time. That's when you suddenly realize that you're addicted to this sinister candy game, because like a drug pusher, it offers to buy more lives and more time (with real money, of course) or to buy game bonuses that will help you finish the Bastard levels and move further along the game. I get it; game companies need to make money, but this type of luring a person along reminds me of the Junior High warnings of drug dealers that would give a kid a few pills for free, the first time.!--break-->More »