It was back in the spring, I think, when I finally succumbed to its charms. I had scoffed at the updates in my news feed; wondered why anyone would want to waste their time on a game where all you did was switch multi-coloured candies around. “Aren’t there tons of games out there doing the exact same thing?” I asked myself.
Then one day, I got bored. And my productivity has never been the same.
Admittedly, it helps to know that I’m not alone: I’m not the only one who has felt the burning shame of having their kids say, “Are you playing Candy Crush AGAIN?!?” I’m not the only one who has felt the judgement of those who have thus far resisted; but still, it is an addiction of which I am not proud. (And in fact, as I’m writing this, I’m also playing… I admit it… SOB!!!)
Would I have another book finished by now if I hadn’t discovered Candy Crush? I suppose it’s possible, although my lack of focus in general has been a bigger issue, I think. (“It’s not Candy Crush’s fault! *SOB* Don’t blame the Crush! *HICCUP* I can stop playing any time I *HIC* want to!”) But my writing method of “If I write another 500 words, I can play Candy Crush… OK, another 300 words… OK, I’ll just play one set of lives, and then I’ll write” probably haven’t helped, either.
But all of this being said, I do think that there are lessons to be learned from Candy Crush.
It IS Actually Possible to Hate Chocolate
Who would have thought it? But Candy Crush has given chocolate a sour taste! Those damned squares of chocolate just keep multiplying, distracting you from your goal. Just like in life there will always be something to take away your focus, and quite often, like school papers in a backpack, those distractions seem to multiply every time you look away. But often, you just have to ignore the chocolate and focus on the goal, or the bombs will just keep exploding and you’ll never get your walnut to the end.
Ditto for Rainbows
Spoiler alert for those who haven’t gotten to this level yet, but eventually, you will grow to have a love/hate relationship with rainbows, too. You get all of your ducks in a row – or candies, in this case – and you’re all set to make a big move, and then BOOM! One of the candies switches colours, ruining your whole plan. In life, you have to be able to think on your feet and go with the flow, for, as John Lennon once said, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.”
There are Always Ways to Get More Lives, if You Really Want Them
We’ve all been there: you’re just starting to figure things out, and find a strategy that might work the next time you play a level, and you RUN OUT OF LIVES! You go into a panic, sending out requests to all of your Candy Crush playing friends, asking them to help you get a life (Sidenote: Am I the only one who sees “Petunia gave you a life” and thinks, “Yeah, I really need one, don’t I?”) You may even be tempted to pay for another set of lives.
The truth is, though, that there are ways to get more lives, if you really want them. You can move from device to device, using up your lives as you go. On your phone app, you can actually save the extra lives that friends send you, so that you have extras when you really NEED them. I once even tried Ali Martell’s “Time Travel Trick”, but there were consequences for my actions. Yes, I could get more lives RIGHT NOW, but once I went back to my auto time and date settings, I found out that Candy Crush was on to me: I couldn’t get more lives for over six hours. I’ve always remembered those consequences for my impatience, and now I stop to think, “Do I really NEED more lives RIGHT NOW, or could I go do something else, like, you know, clean my house, while I wait?”
Don’t Give Up
If anything, Candy Crush has taught me persistence and patience. You get hooked into the game because the first few levels are so easy, but then they start putting obstacles in your way: multiplying chocolate, rainbow-colour-switching candies, frosting so hard it must be fondant. Around level 100, there was a level that I just could NOT get past. I tried, and I tried, and I tried, but it was just impossible. After a while, I started playing less, because I was so convinced that this was the end for me, and that there was no way to get past it without paying for it (which I refused to do.) I could go days without even opening the game.
Then one day, while the kids were at their swimming lesson, I opened it up and once again started playing the same level I had been playing for at least a month. I fully expected to run out of lives, and give up again. I was barely even paying attention as I played. But at one point, I looked down at my phone, and realized that rather than the “Level Failed” that I expected to see, I had actually conquered it! I didn’t even know how I’d done it, but the Candy Crush gods had obviously smiled on me, and suddenly life seemed a little bit brighter.
There are times in life when you feel like you’ve been stuck on the same level forever, and that there really isn’t any way that you can possibly move on. You may as well just give up and delete the game (well, you know what I mean…) But the thing is, life has a funny way of sneaking up on you, and when you least expect it, if you just keep trying, you WILL move forward. If you give up, there’s no way that it will ever happen. So you may as well keep on trying!
So, there you have it: the lessons you can learn from Candy Crush. Do you have any to add?
PS – It’s okay, Candy Crush addicts: this is a safe space. We can talk here without fear. And remember to watch out for bombs along the way.
PPS – If this is your first time here, and you’d like to know more about my books, you can click here!