Why Candy Crush Could Be Crushing Your Intellect
Navigating on the train at a busy London platform on a cold, frosty Tuesday morning, I see a continuous theme emerging.
There is a certain type of species of human that I observe transfixed to their mobile phone. I wondered if the Naturalist David Attenborough could focus his attention on the human species in addition to his incredible Planet Earth series on wildlife, he would make a killing.
Regardless of what is occurring in the ‘outside world’ and despite the train jolting to a halt, people walking in and out, this species does not lift their nose up from their phone.
I imagine their only experience of sunlight, is the light emerging from their phone screens.
I observed today as one particular lady seemed to be intently staring at her phone, smirking with absolute delight.
The mind boggled.
I have to say, it beats the expressionless faces around us, and I must admit to being intrigued and hugely curious about the type of Kindle book she had downloaded onto her phone.
I fantasised it being a romantic novel, a J. K Rowling adventure or a Jackie Collins blockbuster, or perhaps something even more intellectually stimulating.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
As I moved closer and sat next to this lady, I stared in amazement at her phone as I saw a set of coloured gems floating around a screen aimlessly.
I have to admit feeling somewhat dizzy as the multiple coloured gems floated on her screen which at times exploded, to her delight and excitement.
This lady (and she’s not alone in this) had fallen into the clutches of one free app which has had housewives, businessmen, entrepreneurs of all ages, shapes and sizes mesmerised and excited.
Dare I say it, it’s Candy Crush.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with this, Candy Crash is a free to play game released in 2012. It falls under matching grids, which you match up like candies which then disappear as you progress and rack up points. It has a similar feel to Bejewelled.
There are (I think the excitement could kill me here) ‘special’ candies which once linked with similar ones, make parts of the board explode. Every level has a different objective
Candy Crush can become incredibly addictive, and not only because shiny candies fall into place (still don’t get it), but because you start with five lives and each time you trade a life, you gain more time.
Candy Crush gifts you with another life.
Of course this breeds addiction.
So gone are the days of dealing with alcohol and drug addiction, now we’re dealing with Candy Crush addiction.
Sigmund Freud, the father of Psychoanalysis would be turning in his grave at the very thought of this diagnosis.
However I do understand that for those individuals who lack meaning, purpose or focus, being told they can trade lives with someone else or even gain another life must be like a dream come true.
Meanwhile the Candy Crush addicts are wasting the life they already possess on this mindless task.
I was shocked to learn that in 2014, over 93 million people were playing Candy Crush, while the revenue rose over a 3 month period to over $493 million, for those using the paid extras on the game.
As I observed this lady totally seduced into lining the candies, I noticed that she was missing what was around her. A number of elderly people had joined our carriage, laughing and joking, which totally broke the monotony of the journey. A number of us stood up to give them a seat, whilst she stayed firmly seated with her eyes still transfixed on her candies.
It doesn’t surprise me to continuously get requests for coaching from individuals who’s main issue is that they have lost their way, they lack joy. struggling to connect and interact with others.
All the money, position, status and power can’t override this.
The sad thing is that as I peered around the train carriage I saw the same type of faces focused on their screen, shifting their fingers in fast motion tapping on the screen to gain the extra points owed to them.
As if their life depended on it.
In my experience, our life is fuelled by building up the spirit, the intellect, connecting with others and expanding the mind. You could in fact argue that through this incredible game, there is a discovery of some invincible competitive spirit once a level is completed.
But could this competitive spirit not be awakened and fed through taking up a sport, or even a more substantial and interesting hobby?
The competitiveness also aligned with connecting to others, creating conversations and learning through being in relationship with others.
Wouldn’t it be great if as these Candy Crush addicts step off the train, their achievement is not measured by how many times their candies exploded, or how many extra lives they were given?
Who wants extra lives, when some people can barely tolerate the life they already have.
Instead it could be measured through learning, interacting, helping, serving and conversing with others as a way of making their physical journey to their destination become a journey of growth and connection.
This is the way to feel truly alive.
The game to play should not simply be about how to line up candies, but use that same energy and excitement to line up the next stage and level of their progression as a human being.
If this article has awakened your interest or you feel someone could benefit from it, please share. If you would like to connect or share your experience, please contact me directly via firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my website www.micheleattiascoaching.com