There was a post shared on Twitter not too long ago about how the game Candy Crush has pretty much ruined her life. You can read her hilarious article here: http://www.lisa-laura.blogspot.com/search?q=Candy+Crush#!http://lisa-laura.blogspot.com/2013/09/how-candy-crush-saved-my-life.html
I read it and laughed out loud. But I disagreed with her in a lot of ways, even though she was super funny. And so I offer you a counter argument of sorts.
Candy Crush Develops Your Focus
Not exclusive to Candy Crush, video games of various kinds develop your ability to focus and tune out the real world around you. I know this since I’ve observed it in my kids and myself. How many times should I call from the top of the stairs until I have to go to the basement, make eye contact, and touch my son’s shoulders to make sure he actually heard me and isn’t just yelling, “Okay Mom!” with no actual processing of the words I’m communicating?
And I’m no better. Last night my kids were getting ready for bed and while they were brushing their teeth I thought I’d work on one level (the elusive level, the one that I cannot beat no matter how many times I try). When I came to, they kids were already in their beds, my husband had showered and was already in bed half-asleep. I’m claiming time warp.
It’s great for developing your ability to tune out everything around you. Another case in point: After a while you don’t even hear that crazy harpsichord song over and over again. That take focus, I tell ya.
It Makes You Resourceful
How many times do writers claim they just don’t have time to write? They sit down to write and the messy kitchen suddenly becomes unbearable. Or access to free wifi at that coffee shop leads down a dark path of following links posted on Twitter rather than actually writing, which was the whole reason you came to the coffee shop in the first place…because the kitchen was too messy to be able to work there, remember?
Candy Crush lets you fit in a quick game wherever you are. Waiting for your turn at the DMV? Candy Crush. Dentist office? Candy Crush. In the car line to pick up the kids after school? Candy Crush. If only we’d keep our notebook, index card, or phone note-taker program/app as readily in our minds as Candy Crush, we’d be on our way to completing that project already.
Candy Crush Hones Strategic Advanced Planning
It’s not elegant like chess. I get that. It doesn’t smell of cigars and coffee and well-aged leather.
If it had a smell, I imagine it as more of a State Fair midway, cotton candy mixed with cigarette aroma.
That aside, Candy Crush makes you look for patterns, see interconnections and forces you to ignore the more obvious glowing options it tries to point out to you. Sure, the glowing options are possibilities, but they aren’t usually the best ones. They are moves for moves’ sake. But if you can find the less obvious combination, you’ll be surprised by the candies (read: plot lines) that drop into place. When you pay attention to the domino effect (to mix up my game usage) when you slide that idea over there, the other ideas in that article go clickity click and it all comes together.
There, see? Now you can play Candy Crush with a clean conscience. It is a skill developer, and it is part of your overall plan to refine your craft. Take THAT unfolded basket of clean laundry. I’m working on bettering my writing over here!
Do you have any helpful tips for me to get past Level 29 without spending any money? Are you someone who takes games seriously? And seriously, how can I pass Level 29?
I’m working on a portion of a story that has a broomball team in it. Being set in Minnesota, one would HOPE it would include a broomball team, right? So I would love to get your reaction to some of the names I’m considering. I should give props to my brother, Nate, who came up with some of these (and more) suggestions. Now you tell me which name you’d be proud to wear on your back!