Candy Crush Will Destroy Us All

Smart phones and mobile apps, I blame you. From social networking to texting to checking emails, we are constantly on our phones. I finally caved a couple of months ago and purchased the iPhone 5. To be honest, I have no idea why I purchased it. The only apps I have on it are Instagram and an array of photo editing apps – photography happens to be a hobby of mine. Other than that, I use my “smart” phone to simply text and make/receive phone calls. And then…Candy Crush Saga came along.

I had seen a bunch of my friends playing it, and thought it looked completely useless – get out of here, you Bejeweled mimicker. Yet one of my best friends was quick to tell me it was vastly different from Bejeweled – I just had to download the app for myself and see the magic. Taste the rainbow. Get addicted. And then I did. I stupidly, stupidly did.

Like I said, just about everyone I know has Candy Crush – some people in my family even have it synced so that they have it on their iPhone, their iPad, and their laptop computers – that’s a tad much for me, guys. We are already addicted to technology as it is. Most of us have no idea how we would respond without it. I see countless Facebook statuses about people losing their minds when their phones don’t work – I mean, how on Earth will we talk to anyone??? We need to distance ourselves any chance we can. Maybe get some face-to-face time with – I don’t know – actual humans for a change. The candies are not real, people! In fact, they don’t even look that tasty – and this is coming from a person that is drastically addicted to sugary goodness. End vent session.

Anyway, the most concerning thing about this app is how it lures future addicts people in. The creators of this app are clearly out to make money – it’s one of the best monetizing structures I have ever seen. It’s free to download and free to play, and yes, it has more elements to it than the formerly beloved Bejeweled, but that so called freedom is quick to end once you get stuck on a level. You stare at the screen of your phone, tablet, or computer in disbelief. What do I do now?! It’s 2 a.m., and I should be asleep – but it’s too good. I must match those candies, I must make more gems and earn more boosters. Yes, I must, says the addict.

Currently, I am working on breaking my addiction (sans any Intervention-esque activities). I would actually find myself annoyed at how much I played, but for some reason, I just couldn’t stop. So I’m kicking the habit, but I see many losing the battle. Well, my fellow soldiers, I’m here to shed some light on the ingenuity of this app, and how we really should limit our time – and dear God, our money – on this app.

According to The Atlantic Wire, gaming companies hire psychologists to strategize and determine the best ways to get consumers hooked so they will spend an abundance of their money and time on these kinds of games. There have been multiple news reports stating how Candy Crush can and has become an addiction to many, where people are spending upwards of thousands of dollars to advance. And for what? What do we get in return? Some might say achievement, some might say a weird kind of status (especially if you have the app linked to your Facebook and want to share your advancements any chance you can), and some are purely chasing success and the app provides a viable way of doing that (the term viable is very subjective here – I refuse to spend any money on this app).

In a way, I almost admire the Candy Crush creators – they have gotten over 45 million people to play this game every month, and in this candy land, the company King is raking in an estimated $633,000 a day. Freakin’ geniuses. I’m blown away and completely baffled.

The most crucial thing to remember, however, is that it is just a game. I understand that some individuals are prone to having more addictive tendencies, but I just hate to see people spend their hard-earned (again, subjective) money this way. I should not have to see my family members playing this app during a week long vacation in Tahoe where there are about 50 of us and we are all out to dinner. Where is the conversation? We need to literally look up once in awhile and realize our phones are not additional appendages to our bodies. It’s nothing but technology, and realistically, the game won’t give you anything back in return for your devoted playtime. But you know what will? People. Your family, your friends. My family, my friends – at least that’s what I told myself when we finally put our phones away at dinner tonight and instead, picked up chopsticks, enjoyed our sushi, and had a wonderful conversation ranging from quoting 21 Jump Street to our desperate need for some Cold Stone ice cream. No, it wasn’t the most life-changing, in-depth conversation. But it was fun. It was real. And it was way more memorable than making digital pieces of candy explode.

For all of our sakes, let’s put the technology away for a little while. Yes, things like laptops and smart phones can and are extremely beneficial, but we should always be in control of how we use them and ensure there remains a balance in our life between talking to Siri and talking to our own mothers.  Candy Crush cannot win. Repeat after me: I can be a candy crusher without being an addict. I can put the phone or the laptop or whatever down any time I want. Right? Right.

Comments

  1. Janet Richardson says:

    I totally agree with you. I have never played these games myself but lived with someone who did and it caused endless arguments. I think people need to live in the real world and take notice of what is going on around them rather than bury their heads in a virtual world. I saw my partner go from a good conversationalist with an interest in politics to someone with nothing to say to me because I didn’t play World of Warcraft.

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