I may be a poet some of the time but, you know… I also like to play games. And before I begin I would just like to say that I am so grateful my elder brother hogged the Play Station growing up to the extent that he wouldn’t even let me touch it, otherwise I would have been so addicted I wouldn’t have known what to do with myself.
Moving forward. I recently re-downloaded Candy Crush, a game I fell into five years ago as a means of killing time and enduring my daily commute on the tube in London. I thought I had let go of that addiction but a new phone purchase – after I accidentally smashed my phone… don’t ask, it was a full moon and my phone wasn’t feeling very well – I had to download a whole bunch of new apps and the game came up. I couldn’t resist. I hit download.
All the feelings came back. An excessive compulsion to line up all that candy in one sweet row, only to watch it all burst as my points rose to the hundreds of thousands, right before my eyes. There’s something so satisfying about it. It’s an incredibly addictive game. My eagerness to jump right back in after a long hiatus of not playing the game as well as a feeling of “how I’ve missed you candy crush” was soon met with a feeling of “hmmm, oh no… I remember you and I haven’t missed you at all!”.
Am I just wasting my time playing this game? Am I just killing time? Am I just trying to escape something? Thinking? Feelings? Myself? Is that what we do when we play games? Switch off? Pretend that it doesn’t all really exist, the problems and the reality of the world we live in?
And then I caught myself. Ha-ha! Why be so fatalistic about something that actually – even though it may be a bit of a waste of time – is ultimately quite pleasurable. There just is something very cathartic about lining up candy, blowing up jelly and collecting as many points as possible before your chances run out. What’s the problem here?
The ultimate question is: Is anything ever truly a waste of time, if it just so happens to be what you are doing at that precise moment in time? Yes, sometimes we do need to moderate ourselves, but if you’re anything like me and you have this relentless desire to question the point and reasoning behind everything you do, and if you’re always anxious about, overthinking and over-analysing every single thing you do, then sometimes it’s necessary to just chill the f**k out. Why can’t I play a game of Candy Crush without feeling bad?!
After this assertion, my mind went to looking for reasons why playing Candy Crush could be a good thing. My main finding was that actually, a game of Candy Crush can teach you a lot about life.
Bear with me.
Here are five things Candy Crush can teach you about life.
1. Don’t always trust the ones in control.
When you don’t make a move straight away, Candy Crush will automatically “suggest” moves to make by highlighting certain candies. But often, when I made those moves, I ended up losing anyway. And often, before I decided to make the move Candy Crush suggested, I suddenly found an alternative move which actually led to me winning straight away. Moral of the story is: Can we trust those above us? Are they actually deliberately setting us up to “not win”? Always think for yourself. If your head is fully in and committed to the game – and the game of life, haha – nothing beats that. If you’re in it to win it, those in control have no power over you, and almost always, the moves you choose to make in your life beat any suggestions or “advice” those not in your shoes have. Only you know you and your situation. Have I made myself clear?
2. Every move counts
Sometimes I get so taken away with all the colours of the game and the very act of lining the candy up that I actually forget I’m trying to win a game. I get so carried away with just making any move that I forget to weigh up all the possible alternative moves. Example: I lined up three candies, when instead I could have put two striped candies of different colours side-by-side and that one swish would have ultimately led to more candies being crushed and more points. And I could have done it in less time too. More effective and an example of working SMARTER. Moral of the story? Act and move wisely; don’t waste your precious time and energy with things that ultimately don’t serve you most efficiently and effectively in the long run, or right away. Every act and decision you make in life has the power to change everything for the better, or worse, so go about your day-to-day with a bit more mindfulness, knowing that everything you do counts.
3. Persistence is everything
As the saying goes, “a river cuts through rock, not because of its power, but because of its persistence”. Ultimately there are more productive things you can do with your day than play Candy Crush. But, if you can go through that many levels – I think at one point in my life I reached level 300 and that’s a lot for me but shockingly, there are 1895 levels, with an additional 665 which can be found in Dreamworld and I’d be interested to meet the person who completed all those levels – despite the setbacks; despite the amount of times you fail; despite the amount of times Candy Crush tries to tell you that your life has run out… well, if you just keep going, you’ll climb further and further and further. And I’m not trying to say you must be a genius if you can complete 1000 levels of Candy Crush but what I am saying is that if you put that much of your heart into something as unimpressive as Candy Crush and you succeeded, imagine how far you could go with something you GENUINELY loved. Moral of the story: You can do anything, IF YOU PERSIST! And if you did it for Candy Crush, why can’t you do it for yourself? HUH??? DO IT! (Whatever it is you are truly passionate about).
4. Always define and understand your mission
I’ll admit, there have been times I have walked into a Candy Crush game just wanting to blow shit up… I mean, line candy up. I have given no thought to my overall strategy for the level and also I have been so quick to jump in that I even ignored the message you get at the beginning of every game that tells you what your mission is.
So I’m half way through the game and running low on moves and apparently nowhere close to passing the level. And then I wonder what I’m even meant to be doing. What is the point of this level? Qu'est que c'est le point?!
Well, if you wonder through the game of life like an aimless cow not knowing where in the world the grass is green, and perhaps not even knowing that you’d prefer grass that is green as opposed to grass that is brown, then will you ever really, truly get anywhere? Probably not.
Know, define and understand your aim, purpose, strategy, mission… whatever you want to call it. It makes getting to the next level so much easier!
5. Don’t get duped.
Are you really going to be that person who paid for lives on Candy Crush? Really??? Come on! There’s always a way round. There will always be people and/or institutions in life who will try and trick you into buying something, making you believe that you really truly need it. But, do you really need it? Step back and take a breath. Really think. Do you really need to pay Candy Crush for an extra life or could you perhaps just wait ten minutes until your access is unlocked again?
Money might be able to buy you many things but it can’t buy your ability to think carefully and wisely. That’s on you my friend.
That is all. And now, back to Candy Crush!
All my love,
Bedroom Poet XoXo