Life Lessons from the Gaming World

As one of the moms who’ve ruined Facebook for those under thirty, I must admit I’ve played a few of the jillion games there. It started innocently enough – my son told me Bejeweled Blitz was fun because I’d like the ‘splosions. And I did. Plus I found the one minute games to be perfect for my limited attention span, which is precisely what those game designers knew when they created the damn things. Ooh, shiny ‘splosions!

Bejeweled Blitz led to Solitaire Blitz, then Zuma Blitz. I was happy enough with my Blitzes. Perfectly happy. Earlier this year my own mother invited me to play Words With Friends. It makes my brain hurt a little, since I’m not exploding things or matching cards, but I soldier through every couple days and try to stay caught up on my games. (Sorry, Mom.) But then a friend of mine told me to try Candy Crush. It’s easy, they said. You’ll like it, they said.

That friend is obviously a crack dealer on the weekends.

Candy Crush has limitless levels. You can’t advance until you beat a level, and by ‘beat’ I mean score some arbitrary amount of points or do something the Candy Crush Overlords have instructed you to do – match the special candy, make acorns and cherries fall out of the game, explode all the things. I’m convinced now that Candy Crush is a vehicle by which some alien species is trying to take over Earth (like that Star Trek TNG episode with Wesley Crusher and Ashley Judd and the little Google Glass things you put on and pretty soon even Captain Picard was a bad guy and…). No, forget I said that. Honest. HEAR THAT OVERLORDS… JUST JOKING. PLEASE DON’T VAPORIZE ME.

It occurred to me after a particularly powerful beating from the game (I’m looking at you, Level 162), that there are innumerable life lessons to take from Candy Crush. Sure, you can learn them other ways, but in Candy Crush you learn them FAST. Here are a few of them:

* The early easy victories go away very soon. And then $hit gets hard and the free boost thingies go away and it’s just you.

* Sometimes all you need is an extra life or a few extra moves, and your friends and family can send them to you. And it works both ways, so be generous – send things often.

* Your first time on a level, you’re going to be confused and flailing. Go ahead, flail. You’ll catch on to what they want very soon.

* You’re gonna lose. A lot. Get used to it, get through it, and keep going – ¬†because each loss gets you closer to the win.

* There’s always a harder level next. It doesn’t get easier.

* Chocolate is not your friend.

* Pay attention – those special candies don’t always just appear, you’ve gotta make them happen.

* Sure, you can go back and re-live a level, but you’ll find it doesn’t mean as much as when you beat it the first time. Don’t go back. It won’t help.

* Maybe you only get a one star win instead of three. It’s enough. No one excels at everything. Accept your victory and move on.

* There is beauty in the smallest victory. (Corollary – no one knows why the little girl in the game has cheeks that look like boobs. Just ignore them.)

* There may always be a harder level further out, but it’s beatable. You can be the one who triumphs. Don’t give up.

candycrush_header*Sometimes friends give you good things. Sometimes they give you the evil alien device that will take over the Earth. Forgive them. Friends are worth it.

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5 Responses

  1. This. is. awesome.

  2. Thanks, Robin. And she is kind of compact, isn’t she?

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