Marijuana. Meth. Mandrax. Heroin. Cocaine. Candy power-ups.
It seems as if the only thing more addictive than a combination pill of everything you never had as a child and uncapped internet comes in the form of Candy Crush Saga.
But Candy Crush Saga is not only a psychedelic world led by what could be a paedophile, nor is it the monotonous drone of music carrying you through the dark underbelly of Candyland. No, it’s much more than this, ladies and gentlemen. In fact, it’s far worse.
A few levels into the game and you’re content with life. Hours you would’ve previously spent scrolling through your Facebook homepage are now open to something far greater. Productive, you’ll say. But after a couple of levels, neurotoxins released from this ferocious match-3 virus begins to eat away at the sanity in your brain.
Tolerance and Withdrawal
After a mere 24 hours of exposure to Candy Crush Saga, tolerance for the game is adopted and more game time is needed to satiate the hunger pangs. But with only five lives to spare and a budget preventing you from entering into ProCandy territory, drastic behaviour results as credit cards are taken out and Rorschach’s voice can be heard narrating the last remaining days of your life.
Every gamer has experienced this at least once after a particularly consuming game. Whether it’s seeing shelves and counters as viable options for stealth-mode, or measuring proximity for accurate headshots (an accelerated stage of this symptom), every player knows the drill. Breathe, remain calm and focus. But when everything you look at is superimposed with a perfect 4-match combo for yellow candies, that’s when, well… that’s just when you know. Not only will the image of your descent into insanity remain lodged into your memory for the rest of your life, but it will also spell immediate danger for the next symptom to come.
Losing Control: Becoming the Candy
Three days have passed. No one knows where you are, not even yourself. Surrounded by the fast food bags, two tablets and your phone lying across an unmade bed. Your weakened body against a wall, breathing, waiting for your friends on Facebook to help you get more lives.
The truth is, you know they won’t. Your friendly request for support and competition is just another cry for help, and they all know it. Days turn into weeks and real candy means nothing. Weeks into months and you’re up to your knees in debt.
But hey, all those boosters were worth it, right?