Sunday, January 5, 2014

Candy Crush is Ruining My Life

The characters in Candy Crush look innocent, don't they?
"My name is Cindi, and I'm addicted to Candy Crush."

Then you all reply, "Hi, Cindi!"

It might seem extreme, but I'm pretty sure I am a Candy Crush addict. Here is my evidence:
  • Over the last few months, there has been no quality content added to my blogs, podcast or Facebook pages.
  • I have been looking for a new job, but have sent out only one resume.
  • I am trying to write two different books, but have generated no content.
  • I'm not getting enough sleep because I lay in bed playing the game.
  • I don't walk over my lunch hour because I play the game.

I have friends who are just as affected because that is the point of the game—get your friends on Facebook to play with you. We help each other by sending lives and extra moves. But here is the worst part—you NEED your friends to move on to the next world. You get on a roll, you are having fun beating level after level, when all of the sudden you cannot play anymore unless a friend responds to your plea to unlock the next world. So, of course you invite more friends to play so you have more friends who will help you.

The game is sneaky, too. I found out early that the more I play, the harder each level is. If I got frustrated and just stopped playing for a few days, I would suddenly be able to beat a difficult level with my first try! And if you accumulate some free extras, like sprinkles or fish, and use them, the level will be so difficult you won't be able to win. It even encourages you to have the game on several devices—your computer, your phone, your tablet—so you can keep playing.

If you get too frustrated, there is a solution—you can BUY extras, like sprinkles, fish or more moves. You can make this purchase before you start a level or in the middle if you know you are not going to beat it. (I read that the creators of this free game are making millions from people who buy these extras just to beat a level.)

I try not to be a conspiracy theorist, but the whole thing reminds me of a Star Trek Next Generation episode called The Game. Riker brings a video game to the Enterprise from a planet he visits and gets everyone addicted to it except Wesley and Data. Welsey is hunted down and forced to play while Data's power is turned off. Even super cool Picard gets addicted! After Data eventually saves everyone, the crew learns the purpose of the game: It made them susceptible to the power of suggestion, compelling them to aid the games' creators—the Ktarians—in an attempt to take control of the Enterprise (and eventually the Federation.)

Sound familiar?

So, just for today—one day at a time—I will not play Candy Crush. I will try to get my life back and maybe I will even save the world.

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