Hello, my name is Liz, and I’m obsessed with Candy Crush.
For those of you who aren’t playing . . . .
Candy Crush Saga is a game you can play on your phone or computer. It’s one of those “match 3 objects” games, (in this case candies) with each board having a different set of challenges (get a minimum score, get a certain combination). If you match 4 or 5, or do a certain shape, you get a special candy.
Also, you have only 5 lives. It’s done on a timer, in that to get more you need to wait a specific time period.
Complete the objective for a board, move up to the next level.
There are different ways to play: my sister has an Android app on her phone, and she doesn’t have FaceBook. My mom plays through her FaceBook account. I play on my iPhone, but link it to my FaceBook account. Being on FaceBook introduces the ability to get or give lives; there are also certain levels that you need FaceBook friends to help you get over. (My sister, who has no FaceBook account, says she gets through those levels by finishing certain challenges.)
The cost: free. BUT, if you don’t want to wait to get more lives, or if you want a special candy, or if you want to go up a section without the FaceBook help or doing the challenges, there is a small fee. So far, I haven’t paid anything. (I’m the sort of ornery person who hates this type of nickel and dime purchases within a game. I’d rather pay a few bucks upfront than a dollar here and there.)
But — the whole way the game is structured is just obsessive-making. It’s short, so that if you have a few free minutes you can play. But those few minutes turn into a half hour. I’m glad at the limit of five lives and then wait for more so that I don’t play it endlessly.
Also, it gets a wee bit harder with each board, so it remains a challenge and not boring. But then — then — in the midst is some board that is so difficult it’s like WEEKS go get beyond it.
Right now, I’m on Level 172.
Oh, and also, you can buy socks.
So, are you playing? What level are you at? Do you hate the chocolate?
And if you’re not playing — are there any similar games that you are playing?
How does this link to teens?
I’ve read the theories about gaming and reading and honestly, while I enjoy this game it’s not that type of game — not the type that requires much reading. It’s not the type that also is creating any new type of awesome skill set on my behalf. It’s just, well, FUN.
And FUN is important. To have something you like to do with no other motive? Is great. And the next time you see kids or teens getting obsessive about a game, remember how you feel about Candy Crush. Or something else that you do just for fun.
As for the fun element — it’s also fun because it just is. Much as I embrace making learning fun and interesting for people, I also am hesitant about co-opting those fun experiences, putting them into an educational or professional context, and removing the voluntariness, serendipity, and “fun” that the game had provided before it became a learning tool.
Shouldn’t kids be allowed their fun and games, without dragging it into “learning”?
Last thoughts: all the people I know playing Candy Crush are grownups. Do you know any teens or kids who play? Sometimes my niece or nephew will want to play a board or two, but they are way more into Minecraft right now.