Friday, August 9, 2013

Things I learned about life from Candy Crush

Ah, yes. The latest internet addiction - Candy Crush. I normally skip right over these sorts of things. I never even looked at Farmville or Mafia Life or any of those games. Who wants to be tethered to a computer all day just to reap imaginary rewards? The amount of money people were spending on those style games seemed completely wasteful. Definitely not my cup of tea.

However,  Candy Crush seemed a bit different. First, you don't have to pay to play (or win.) Second, the games are based on a combination of luck and skill instead of begging for horseshoes and waiting for crops to grow. Third, you have a limited number of tries before you HAVE to walk away, so you're guaranteed not to waste TOO much time on it.  Now I'm addicted like the rest of Facebooklandia.

In my defense, I found in-browser games YEARS ago. I got hooked on Bejeweled from Pop Cap way before it was "a thing." I could easily spend hours flipping gems and it still has as much appeal to me as it ever did. Since Candy Crush is the same style game, I liked it from the outset. Having specific goals for each level and needing to figure out the solution for each puzzle was what got me hooked. I've been so enthralled that I haven't even written for the public in almost two months. Since I got my smart phone in March, I find I hardly ever put it down and that has drastically reduced the time I spend in front of my "real" keyboard.
So, in an effort to curb my "sweet tooth", I will combine both my current faves.

Sitting there this afternoon (I was out of lives for the next 30 minutes) I started to wax poetic, if you will. I started to see Candy Crush as a kind of metaphor for life. Silly? Maybe. But hear me out.

Candy is the sweet stuff that life is made of. You have to put your things in a tidy row to take care of them. Bombs can represent emergencies that have to be dealt with RIGHT NOW. Chocolate, Licorice, and Multi-level Jellies are the tough parts of life that we have to deal with, even when we don't want to. See what I mean? Candy Crush is DEEP, man. Besides, studies have proven that logic games are healthy for your mind. So I'm actually doing something GOOD for myself, right?
Or, maybe I'm only trying to justify this relentless habit. Maybe.

Things I learned about Life from Candy Crush.

1. Chocolate is never the fix. It only creates more problems.
2. There is always a solution to the puzzle. Sometimes it just takes a little longer to find it.
3. It's ok to ask for help from your friends. 
4. A little competition never hurt anyone.
5. Sometimes you just need an extra tool to take care of roadblocks in the way.
6. When you combine two really great things, you get and EVEN BETTER thing!
7. Perseverance and patience are the keys to success.
8. Keep an eye on the time. Lose track of the clock and you will lose the game.
9. Always make sure that every move you make is helping to support your end goal.
10. You can't control whether bombs and road blocks cross your path. You just have to make sure to deal with them in a timely manner, before they blow up in your face.
11. You have to look at the big picture. By focusing on just one area, you not only miss opportunities for big scores but you also miss taking care of problems before its too late.

having said all that, I feel I have to add one more thing:
Playing a simple and fun game is a great way to blow off steam and take a mental break. However, when things get really stressful, it is important to put the puzzle away. If it isn't fun anymore, don't do it. Furthermore, a simple game (or hobby) should not soak up more of your time than your work or family. If you have to tell your loved ones  to "hold on a minute" because you want to play instead of helping them out, you need to put it down and walk away.

So there you have it - philosophy, Candy Crush style. Now, if you'll excuse me... I have five lives to spend.

Deb "Sweet Tooth" Lollar

P.S. Feel free to forward or share this post! If you like it, let me know in the comments. 

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