Ever ask a person what level he or she is on in Candy Crush Saga? I’ll bet they can tell you. I, for one, have been stuck on level 79. Know this level? This is the one where you have to crush 55 jellies, and every time you turn around, you are defeated by a great wall of chocolate that continues to grow larger and larger. I have been stuck for about one month on this level, all the while watching my friends surpass me.
Despite my growing frustration every time I run out of lives and the feeling of falling further and further behind, I have become increasingly aware of the benefits of playing this game. Yes, I get a rise every time I combine certain candies and watch the magnificent collapse of rows and rows of those awful chocolates. (Did I actually use “awful” and “chocolate” in the same sentence?) And the sound of the candies falling on top of each other is just yummy. But beyond these pleasures is my appreciation of the life lessons that are being taught:
- 1. In life, we must think before acting. In Candy Crush, have you ever moved too quickly and then suddenly you saw a spot where you could have created a row of four? Happens to me all the time. And, as is often in life, there is no “undo” button.
- 2. As adults, we often forget to take a time-out, and tend to compulsively work at something until we have actually made things worse. With the limit of five lives at a time, we are forced to stop. (Or move to our Smartphone app and continue with five fresh lives!)
- 3. Candy Crush Saga on Facebook teaches us to give and receive. We share extra moves and free lives with our Facebook friends. In fact, without our Facebook friends, we cannot move on to the next episode. After we request help from friends to “unlock” the next episode, we must wait for an indefinite amount of time for the tickets to arrive.
- 4. And while waiting for our lives to be renewed and friends to send us tickets, we learn patience. We are then forced to find other activities to do. (Pet Rescue Saga anyone?)
- 5. We learn to look at the “big picture.” I notice I tend to do poorly if I focus on one corner of the screen. Before I know it, I have accumulated this terrible build up of chocolate on the other side.
Is Candy Crush making me a better human being? Probably not. But it is an awfully fun game to play, and I like to think that embedded in this game are little metaphors for the stuff of life. Happy crushing, and beware of those chocolates!