So tell me: what does that picture do to you? Does it make you want to pull out your phone and play the game? Roll your eyes? Run screaming from the room? Stand up and declare, “Hi. I’m ________, and I’m addicted to Candy Crush”?
Once upon a time I too was completely ensnared in the heart-pounding, nerve-wracking excitement that is Candy Crush Saga. I waited breathlessly for new lives and begged unashamedly for all manner of “help” from my friends. I hummed the theme song in my sleep. I tried to cut back on game play on my own but the draw of the candy was just too much for me. I needed the thrill of conquering the next level of Candy Crush! I finally had to go cold turkey and take the app off my phone. It’s been hard but as of today, I’ve gone 4 months without sliding so much as an orange candy, much less raining curses down on the chocolate oozing all over the place. Chocolate! What kind of game paints chocolate as the enemy?!? Who added that little detail – Jillian Michaels? Anyway.
Now….I play these:
That’s better, because at least they’re word-related, right? That’s good for a writer, right? Well, not when I find myself spending 20 minutes staring at the game board searching for the best of all possible moves, the one that will bring my opponent to her knees and make her beg for mercy, or at least for a 7 letter word containing a triple word score and the letter “X”. Ahem. (I’m looking at you, Sylvia) There is something about these games that brings out a competitive side that I never knew I had, and that desire to win, win, win can suck precious minutes out of my day. Seriously, it scares me sometimes how smug and self-satisfied I feel when I make a good play. (Hey, do you play? Start a game with me! :-))
If I’m not careful, I can sit down at the computer to write a perfectly good post, an inspired post oozing with wisdom and good humor, and I’ll see a notification pop up on my phone screen that it’s my turn to play. Ooooh, let’s see what my opponent did. She played what!?!? Is that even a real word?!?! And now she’s ahead of me. This cannot be permitted to stand unchallenged. Next thing I know, 20 minutes have passed, I have no idea what I was about to write AND now it’s time to start dinner.
So what to do about this insatiable desire to conquer my word game opponents that drains minutes from my already limited writing time? Y’all, the word “smackdown” has no place in a game like Word Trick, unless it’s in all green tiles on a triple word score. Those games are supposed to be cerebral and thoughtful, aren’t they? There’s nothing wrong with playing games, as long as they’re kept in their proper place. I have three words for me: Turn. It. Off. If I can’t control my detrimental game play impulses, then they are controlling me and the games will have to go. The world will not end if I lose a game. Or three. It’s a game. Just play a word. It’s not life or death. If nothing else, I could turn the volume down on my phone and put it where I can’t see the screen. Sounds pretty simple. Maybe I’ll give it a try.