Candy Crush and Real Life

What a simple game tells you about your decision-making ability

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Yes, I play Candy Crush. I am currently beyond level 1600. And perhaps by the time you are reading this, I’ll be beyond 1700.

Why do I play? To exercise my mind, play away time and engage myself. It’s the game I play the most. I have just 2 other games on my device; one I still play occasionally and the other I do not play anymore but I like the high score I set on it, so I’m not deleting (at least, for now).

I started playing Candy Crush on a friend’s phone. He was on level 145 (I think). So, I started by playing that level. I played that stage for more than 30 times and I never made progress. Sensing my interest in the game, my friend advised me to start from the lower levels, the one he has played and “conquered”. I said no. Eventually, he played that stage and went forward. At that time I had learnt my first Candy Crush lesson:

From my experience of trying to get past that level and from watching my friend play, I got other sides to the game. I started playing and winning on his phone. We got past level 200 before my path and my friend’s diverged. We are many miles from each other now and even staying in touch can be challenging. Anyway, I got back to comfort and got an android. You can guess, I downloaded Candy Crush as soon as I could. Of the first 100 stages, I got to play only (about) 2 more than once. I breezed past them all. And I must tell you, I don’t like boosts.

Why do I dislike boosts? This is because I don’t play to win. Yes, I want to win and I love to win, but I don’t play to win. I play for a good game. I love a worthy adversary. I love a difficult level because it challenges me to think of how to get past it. There are some levels that are frustrating though. Those are levels that rely on how lucky you get with the candies that you are given rather than how good you can actually play. I love levels that require excellent decisions by me to win.

There are certain rules I have come to terms with in Candy Crush:

  1. If the game gives you bad candies, it doesn’t matter how good you are, you won’t win
  2. The game tracks your activities with it. If you get mad at it, it will lessen it’s toughness at least for a while. The game needs you to keep playing. Quit the app abruptly in the middle of bad game, then restart after a few minutes, the toughness will lessen sort of. Or don’t touch the app for 3 days (if you are a regular player), when you finally decide to play, the game will want you to stay long on the app.
  3. Tough levels are won by solving the biggest problem first or focusing on the biggest problem
  4. Boosts are designed to get you addicted to using them
  5. Your biggest distraction is that lovely music. The music is beautiful but you will not go far fast enough if you keep it on.

What has this got to do with me and my life? It has a lot to do with your decision making ability. It has a lot to do with how far forward you can think. It has to do with your mental threshold and how you manage risk.

First, you understand your condition by how you play. And then you get better in how you play. Then, you translate the lesson you learn into the real world. For those who are huge fans of learning by experience, this is the way to go;

Can it be that simple? Yes! Task your decision-making and mental prowess on Candy Crush. Play without boosts as often as possible. Learn to manage your concentration and focus appropriately. Immerse yourself in the experience in the virtual. Learn to apply in the real world.

Let this be a guide; learn with the virtual, apply in the real. Don’t drive yourself into the ground in the real world. Test out your principles in the virtual world first. You only live once.


P.S. Read this post again with real life on your mind, not Candy Crush

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