Candy Crushed (Or: The World Is Full of Crushing Bores)

(You’ll soon notice, I’m sure, there’s a “but” coming.) I don’t want to be a grouch. Or a curmudgeon. Or troublemaker. Or rabble-rouser. I don’t want to seem – or, in fact, actually be – a misanthrope. And I don’t want to be a spreader of rancor, bad vibes, or unnecessary meanness. Nor do I want to seem – or, in fact, actually be – holier-than-thou. A judgmental jerk. (Basically, I suppose, I don’t want to be an arsehole.)

But anyone who plays Candy Crush really should run off the nearest cliff at the first available opportunity. I can’t be the only person to think this, can I?

Candy Crush screengrab

Writing as an observer – never a player – Candy Crush seems to be just about the worst thing going. Extraordinarily dumb… The most monumental waste of time…  And, good grief, ugly.

Even though it patently isn’t so, Candy Crush makes me think we’re living in the worst age possible; that we’re slap-bang in the middle of a wretched, wasted, irredeemably awful generation. Yes, I know, there are many worse things under the sun than Candy Crush. But, really, what does it say about us a species that we spend oceans of time willfully playing it?

How did we slide, inexorably, into such an infantile culture? One that continuously hoists up on to a pedestal anything – everything that is… how best to put it? Disposable? Vapid? Emptily distracting? Stupid and shit? One, at any rate, that isn’t content to have just one iteration of the Real Housewives ‘franchise,’ but must, to satiate so large a thirst for vacuous consumption, have SEVEN (according to Wikipedia: Orange County, New York City, Atlanta, New Jersey, D.C., Beverly Hills, and Miami).

Real Housewives - Adults at Play

Candy Crush, so far as I can tell, compels the player into a kind of brainless stupor. Worse, even: an addictive kind of brainless stupor. But to what end? Surely, it’s a closed-loop. Candy Crush doesn’t take you any place worth going; it doesn’t help you to think new thoughts, or get better at anything worth getting better at. (Again, I know: my subjective slights are piling up higher than cubes in a badly played game of Tetris… please forgive me, if only for my opening disclaimers.)

What am I driving at exactly? Maybe it’s just the crushing gut-feeling that Candy Crush actually celebrates its innate awfulness and pointlessness – presents them as colorful and comforting virtues. Go ahead people: disengage from the real world and become, instead, the stupid kid who cut class four days a week. The name of the game is apt: it’s too sweet and it will inevitably make you sick. These days, is that what passes for harmless fun?

When I was a kid I used to spend hours on end flicking playing cards into a saucepan, placed about eight feet away. Every time, I pretended to be one of four different ‘players,’ competing in prestigious competitions. (Sometimes, I’d get over half the pack into that saucepan, and it felt good and satisfying.) Was this too a humbug waste of time?

Maybe so… but also, I claim, much less harmfully so. It surely wasn’t quite so brainless (my ‘players’ were forever battling conditions, temperament and form), I always listened to music as a preeminent reason for doing the whole thing in the first place, and I was, you know, a KID.

Using technologies that could be put to countless better ends, Candy Crush, on the other hand, is a way for adults to kill themselves slowly, while reducing in size and scope the world in which they live. And if I’m wrong about that, hey, I’m probably just an arsehole after all.

*****

Today’s post soundtracked by:

Morrissey - You Are the Quarry

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About newjonnytransit

Same as ever, only better.
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2 Responses to Candy Crushed (Or: The World Is Full of Crushing Bores)

  1. mary says:

    Hey there, steady on son. You’re getting yourself far too worked up over some stupid game, and yes, I can speak with some authority as I too succumbed to this ridiculous app. But not for long, about two weeks I think. Luckily for me, I could see just how easy it would become to get hooked, and spend hard won pension on making ‘life’ that little bit easier and moving up the game ladder. Like all additctions, they start out as harmless and then you’re reeled in. Why did I start in the first place? Because I thought doing something that required very little expertise and thought process would be just the thing to switch off from some aspects of real life. Is there any harm in that? Debatable, but there are so many other pursuits, that do that job better. A regular walk, even just once a week has been found to be more beneficial in ameliorating stress, high blood pressure and a host of other conditions. Yes, I appreciate, these games are very convenient, but why not try ‘upwords’ or ‘scrabble’ if you find yourself at a loose end.

    I now realise I am sounding just like you, but it’s good to know we think alike on one subject at least! And remember, in a week’s time, you will be outnumbered by three as you lie sipping your piña colada against a background of candy being crushed!

    • Glad to hear you stopped playing! Of course I know it’s a silly thing to get worked up about… but, for the most part, I see people playing it on my commute to and home from work – i.e. when I’m most susceptible to outbursts of grouchiness. Why not just take a nap, if you don’t want to do anything else on a train?! At least that would be mentally restorative… In any case, I think I may have inherited a dislike of reality TV, z-list celebrities, and such from dad. Candy Crush belongs to the bottom of the same barrel, I think!

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