An Addiction That No One Talks About: Candy Crush
I have avoided it for as long as I can. I feel like I have a duty to discuss an epidemic that is affecting moms all over this great country. There is a dirty little secret that no one wants you to know about. Especially all of the moms. People are probably going to be mad at me after this but it is time to shine some light on an addiction that has the potential to damage the family dynamic and possibly modern civilization as we know it now. That is right. I am talking about Candy Crush.
Candy Crush image via King.com games
"What is Candy Crush?" SAID NO ONE EVER! You all know what I am talking about. If you don't play, then you know someone who does. It is an evil, addictive game that lures you in with its sparkly colors and fun candy shapes. Seems harmless enough. It is just candy after all. Everyone likes candy.
All you have to do is get three identical candies in a row and the row disappears creating an avalanche of falling candies. This creates new matches. Your points go higher and higher. It is such a rush, a Candy Rush if you will.
Then you are introduced to your first striped candy. You think...how did I just do that? What is the power of this striped candy? Then you accidentally switch it with a wrapped candy and an enormous candy appears and takes out rows and rows. You scream for people to come look at what you just did, then realize that you are sitting in your car. Alone. How did you even get here?
You keep playing. Then just like something out of a movie you see this large black candy covered with multi colored lights. It is surely the crown jewel. It must have magical powers. You swipe it with the candy next to it and the universe as you knew it is now altered. Candies are moving and flashing and falling. Your points are going higher and higher. That was absolutely amazing. Now your only goal in life is no longer to raise well-adjusted, happy children. It is to create another one of those black candies. You. Must. Have. More.
You are now addicted to Candy Crush. Let me just say right here, if you do not understand what I am talking about, then for all that is good and holy, please keep it that way. This game will take over your life and your soul. You will find yourself wanting more and more. You may play the same level 50 times without a victory. But on that 50th time when the stars align and you have one move left, you make that move. You watch as the last of the ingredients make their way to the bottom and disappear. Suddenly all of the stress and wasted hours of your life are justified. You just beat another level. One level, out of the HUNDREDS OF LEVELS THAT REMAIN.
Just when you think you have this game all figured out though, it throws you a curve ball. Chocolate anyone? How about some candy bombs? You can't do that!!!! Can you??? I will NOT play this horrible game ever again!!! You can't make changes like that without warning me!
Then three minutes later you are playing the game again because it has taken over your life.
You should be cooking supper for your family yet you are locked in the bathroom with your phone. You swear that you are only going to use the five lives that you have earned and after that you will start supper. You play. You lose. You play. You lose. Next thing you know all five lives are gone. You do what any good mother would do. No, not go cook supper. You get on Facebook and beg your friends to send you more lives! You think you have finally figured out how to beat this level. Just ONE MORE LIFE!!!
Your friends who are as addicted as you send you lives. You use them all and still fail to pass the level. Now you are frantic. What to do? Beg for even more lives? Sit here and stare at your phone until enough time passes that you are awarded another life? Throw your phone on the ground and stomp it until the screen is shattered and Candy Crush cannot affect you anymore? You consider all of these. Then you hear a little voice from under the bathroom door.
"Mom? I am really hungry. Are you dead? Can you unlock the door?"
You snap back to reality. What have you let happen to your life? You used to be such a good mother and wife and friend. Now you are only friends with people on Facebook so they will send you more Candy Crush lives. You have to take your life back. You stand up, unlock the door, walk out, and put your phone down on the table. You will not let this game monopolize your life anymore. You never even really liked it anyway. Stupid game.
You go downstairs to cook supper for your neglected family. They are all looking at you. They know what you have been doing. No one says a word though. Let's just pretend that everything is going to be okay. You start the chicken and tell your daughter that you are going to look at your iPad because you are expecting an email from her teacher. She knows you are lying. She shakes her head and walks away.
You glance down at the screen and there are new Facebook notifications. You know better than to look. You look. People have sent you lives for Candy Crush. There they are, begging you to use them all. If you could just beat this one level then you tell yourself that you won't play anymore, until tomorrow anyway. You are no quitter and this game will NOT defeat you. You text your husband to bring home takeout and retreat back to the bathroom.
Don't act like you haven't experienced this. You know that this game is all consuming. How many times have you been standing face to face with your girlfriend who you ran into? You are talking to her and she keeps looking down at her phone. She is playing Candy Crush.
As you sit in the school pick up line, no one gets out to socialize anymore. Instead they are using these last few kid free minutes to try and make it to the next level. What has become of our lives?
I don't know who created this game. But I hope you are happy with yourself. I have even seen commercials for this game on TV. That's right! Have you ever seen an phone app commercial before? Me neither. Not before Candy Crush anyway.
Back in the old days, kids only had to worry about their mother being an alcoholic or a drug addict. Maybe Mom would sneak into the closet and binge eat, when no one was looking. But now? Your mother is sitting locked in her car, in the garage, with glazed-over eyes, holding her phone, swiping her finger across the screen time and time and time again. No kid should have to see that. Nice job, Candy Crush. Nice job.