Sunday, May 25, 2014

Dear Candy Crush Saga

This is a guest post from my friend and fellow blogger Natalie from over at Positively Natalie
You treat her nice, jerks, and visit her site while you are at it.   Natalie hates long walks on the beach, preferring to saunter through trees instead.  She does love dressing up like a anklyosaurus and singing Quiet Riot songs at karoake, though.  She also once slammed a door in my face because I threatened to form a "Pot and Pan Parade" through her living room, starting at 3AM, and restarting every four and a half minutes.  I may or may not have deserved it. 

I resisted you for a long time, as if I sensed the darkness of the path I would inevitably walk. But you seemed so innocuous, just a friendly little matching game to play now and then in my spare time. And that’s exactly what you were at first. It was fun smashing through walls of sugar discs like a bull in a candy shop as you shouted words of encouragement. Your protagonist looked like a younger version of myself, which made it all the more satisfying to watch her claim victory.

After a while, though, things got a little sticky. Molten rivers of chocolate slowly consumed the board, but I managed to bust my way out of danger. Piles of whipped cream jammed my path, but I brushed them aside like, well, actual whipped cream. “I am a candy crushing champion!” I declared to myself after you bestowed upon me the venerable title of Liquorice Astronaut.

Now that you’d built me up and gained my trust, you decided to up the ante by throwing bombs at me. They taunted me as they ticked down, move by move, before exploding and killing me with jawbreaker shrapnel. I started running out of lives more quickly, but instead of walking away from the game and waiting for them to regenerate, I downloaded the app to my phone so I could double my lifespan.

I’m sure there must be a word (probably German) that describes the frustration of having the winning swap lined up and then running out of moves before you can make it. I frantically swipe my fingers across the screen, thinking maybe my lightning reflexes will outsmart the programming. Alas, the machine always comes out ahead.

You see, much like actual candy, I seem to be incapable of exercising any willpower when it comes to your charms. I am by nature fixated on completion. I was the kid who insisted on breaking every damned block on every damned level of Super Mario Bros. just in case I could find even one more coin hiding somewhere. I bored friends to tears combing through Final Fantasy maps inch by painstaking inch to make sure I didn’t miss anything awesome hiding under a rock in the far corner of a massive swamp.

I will thus ignore the fact that when I lose a level (or fail, as you prefer to call it) my doppelganger cartoon inner child is brought to tears with disappointment. I will try to forget the unfortunate truth that staring at a particularly difficult level for weeks on end caused me to buy actual candy just so I could feel the joy of crushing it between my teeth. I’m no longer playing to win. Rather, I’m playing to defeat you, to thwart your obviously malicious scheme to rot my soul.

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