Candy Crush lessons

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By Stella A. Estremera

Spider’s web

Saturday, May 24, 2014


LONG before Candy Crush became Candy Crush Saga (which means it was just a single episode play to the end or die game) of King.com, I was already hooked. Of course, it worsened when I had all those Kingdoms to tackle instead of just one. But I managed to escape the addiction, until one day when boredom got the better of me and I started playing anew. That was just two months ago.

Now I’m hooked again and learning a lot. First, about that never-ending “one last time”.

As we all know, the first “last” will never be the last. There will always be the last, the last natalaga, the last nagyud, and one more time.

Before you even know it, an hour or two had already passed. Tough. Now, you have to make up for lost time. I have since cut down my dose to the “last natalaga” and not proceed to “last nagyud”, and one more time. It’s hard, I know. But I it’s also an addiction that should be curbed. It doesn’t help that buddy Carlos taught me how to have endless lives. Pandamay.

But then, having access to endless lives has taught me self-control. It just took one night that turned into morning that turned into bloodshot eyes and one long day struggling against sleep to teach me that lesson. The lesson: one should only give way to one last, and no more. It’s like that old joke shared by those who love to drink about four or five bottles being the limit, then after that sky’s the limit. Old but true. That lesson was learned well too in younger days.

Bottomline, it’s always about self-control although we all know that the self would always put up a struggle against any form of control. You just have do it.

Now we go into the game, itself.

Many a time, I catch myself just zapping those candies before realizing I don’t know the target.

Yeps. That happens in real life too, when we just jump in, doing what we have been doing, losing track of our direction.

In those times, I simply try to make sense of what’s happening, at the same time, prepare myself to lose the round. Acceptance of defeat is a good lesson one must learn every once in a while.

Then there is Odus.

Odus is the bird in this other Kingdom where you don’t need tickets to open episodes, but which you have to deal with Odus, the bird, who balances between two colors.

Thus, more than just hit your objectives for the episode, Odus also teaches you to be conscious of how your actions affect an innocent bystander, like Odus. Too many same-colored candies that you pop, the color of which is one of the two Odus balances on, will tilt the balance, drop Odus, and will mean Game Over even if you still have time, if you are playing against time, or still have moves, if you are playing with a set number of moves. I love it when Odus dances in panic though, that final warning that he or she is just about one more away from falling.

Indeed, there are lessons we can learn, even when we allow our brain to just chill and take a break. Lessons in self-control, lessons against procrastination, lessons in direction-setting, and yes, lessons in mindfulness. But that is only if you ponder on these. Otherwise, you can just play. But that will be a waste of time already wasted…

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saestremera@yahoo.com

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on May 25, 2014.

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