I Think Candy Crush is Giving Me Low Self-Esteem
I have now hit the moment where I have spent just as much time thinking about Candy Crush as I have playing it. It’s sort of like attending summer camp. It looks like fun and games, but I’ve learned a lot of valuable, after school special-type lessons about myself by lining up images of candy on my cell phone screen. It’s brought out my self-loathing as well as made me understand the joy of playing with others. And that’s one to grow on.
Poor Lori has already listened to all of this so she gets a pass on this post. Actually, what am I saying? You can all take a pass on this post if you wish. I mean, it’s not as if part of the Candy Crush TOS is that your friends all need to listen to you philosophize about how a game has destroyed your self-worth.
Actually, has anyone read the TOS? Is that in there?
Sometimes, at night, I dream about combining doughnuts with striped candies.
I dream about boards of candies exploding in orgasmic jelly-blasting shudders.
I’ve never been a gamer unless you count Infocom, and on that count, I’ve never played a game that other people have been playing at the same time. I am usually so far behind the curve that I only start playing a game once everyone else has already finished the game, or I’m playing a game that no one else has chosen to play.
This is my first time playing a game while others are playing the game, and I have dozens of people around me who are bemoaning the difficulty of the same boards. I finally get why people like to play things together. Or, at the very least, adjacent to. It’s the number one reason why I don’t want to give up the game. Because I get that giving up the game would be the simple solution. But I would then miss out on the social part: the texting with friends about that damn multiplying chocolate.
Playing this game is like hanging out with friends while crushing candies with the zeitgeist.
And that zeitgeist is sort of like that roly poly guy everyone had in their dormitory at college who never seemed to go to class but was so much fun to hang around that you helped him out with his term papers because you didn’t want him to be kicked out of university since then he wouldn’t be around anymore to come up with all of those great bat-shit insane ideas.
Didn’t we all have a happy stoner like my Tommy-D* (to distinguish him from some other guy who was a lot less fun but also named Tom)?
Anyway, at the same time, playing the game at the same time as everyone else is making me feel like shit about myself because I seem to get stuck on levels much longer than other people. I tell you that I’m stuck on Level 70, and then you tell me that you’re stuck on Level 86. But when I come back and tell you that I’m stuck on Level 86, you tell me you’re stuck on Level 320. See, I only advanced 16 levels, but you advanced… well… a lot. And perhaps the fact that I can’t quickly do the math in my head to tell you how much more points to the fact that I’m really not a smart person.
I always thought of myself as decently smart. Like middle-of-the-road smart. But Candy Crush is making me think that I’m really really terrible at strategy-based games. And everyone else is great at strategy-based games. I feel like I’m failing a basic test of intelligence.
Either that or I’m playing a lot less than everyone else.
On good days, I think that I must be playing less than everyone else. My friend told me that to boost my self-esteem. “Mel, you just play it less than everyone else.” Do I? Once she told me that I’m playing it less than everyone else, I considered playing it more. I mean, however much I’m playing, increase it… ten-fold. (Yes, I chose to make the jump a multiple of ten so the math would be easy to do in my head.) If I’m playing it a half hour every day… I need to increase that to 300 minutes or… crap… there’s that math again… 60 minutes in an hour… so that’s 5 hours. 5 hours. I need to essentially get a job playing Candy Crush if I’m going to keep up at all since it takes me so much longer than the average human being to pass a level.
I’m only somewhat being tongue-in-cheek about this.
On bad days, I think that I must be playing it the same amount, except I am stupid.
Today is July 4th, a day of freedom (at least here in America). I’m going to spend it relaxing. Which means reading books and going to the park with the kids and maybe… just maybe… beating Level 92. Because by fuck I am stuck on Level 92 and I really really really can’t figure out how to solve this one — if you have any ideas, please tell me. Just don’t tell me that you’ve jumped to Level 920**.
* I just Googled Tommy-D, whose name has been changed to protect the not-so-innocent, and he looks like a really successful, smart guy now. Not like an embodiment of the zeitgeist at all. I think it’s because he’s shaved off his straggly, pot-leaf-studded beard.
** Please also don’t tell me that Candy Crush only goes up to 300-something levels. It was just so much easier, mathematically, to stick a zero on the end of 92 and make your hypothetical level 10 times mine. Take pity on my feeble mind.