A Crushing Addiction

Kids. I have a problem.

It is an addiction that eats my time. It even costs me money.  Not a ton of money, but when I finally come out an admit what I am willingly spending dollars on, I am inevitably going to feel a little ashamed.

I’m addicted to a Facebook game. It is called Candy Crush. Yes, like the name of a recurring segment in Tiger Beat. Candy Crush.  As the name indicates, it involves candy.  They come in on a Tetris-like board and you have to move the candies to create lines of three, four, or five of the same type of candy.  Then they disappear.

This sounds simple enough, but King.com, the creator of this game, has somehow managed to create more than 200 levels by adding a variety of obstacles and bonus candies to the mix.  

This is far from the most genius thing King.com has done though.  You only get five lives at a time, then you have to wait 30 minutes for a new life to get added to your queue.  If you don’t want to wait, you have two options: 

1. Pester your Facebook friends to give you lives

2. Buy them at a rate of five lives for $1.20

When I first tried this game, I was keen to wait.  I have never put money towards a social game and the thought of nagging people with requests  offends my Southern sensibilities about politeness.  So, I played on and managed to make progress all on my own and free of charge.

Then I reached the end of the first “episode.  This is where these maniacal geniuses at King got me.  In order to get to Episode 2, you needed to either get three friends to give you a ticket or you could pay 30 cents.  

Okay, I said to myself.  As much as I hate plunking a credit card down for a transaction less than a dollar, I hate pestering people and FB game requests more, so why not?

Since then, I have turned into a degenerate straight out of "Trainspotting.”  I play in the morning before work so I have the work day for lives to repopulate.  If I feel like I am making headway on a tough level, I convince myself momentum actually plays a role in my success and I buy new lives.  I have gotten 30% of my office on this game as well, and will inevitably be reprimanded by our CFO any day now for assassinating our productivity  In the two weeks or so I have been playing this crack-like game, I have beaten 96 levels.  Level 97 though….oh Level 97.

In my head I try to justify this behavior.  "You need a way to unwind, Jess.“  "You would spend way more money mimicking the same sensation at a video poker machine.”

The worst is when I tell myself that I do not need to write a blog post or watch a movie on my resolution list.  "I mean, yeah, you could write about how strange it is that in order to play an adult, dramatic role, the curly-haired Keri Russell has to straighten her hair in order to be taken seriously on “The Americans”, but isn’t it just as intellectually fulfilling and impressive to devise a way to defeat this?


C’mon Jess…you’re not gonna write anything nearly impressive as this. I mean, that one candy has sprinkles on it. Sprinkles!

So I play. And when I do write, the only thing I have to write about is a Facebook game.

This leaves me with one option, really. I clearly can’t quit the thing now that I am this far along. I have no other choice but to beat the whole damn thing. Easy game.

But if anyone does have any tips on how to get past freaking Level 97, I would gladly take them. 


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