Everyone else was doing it. What’s the harm in just trying?
The sentiment of these 11 little words have led to the ruin of thousands. How blind I was. How arrogant. How safe I felt in my white, middle class, educated skin. I’d heard the horror stories. I’d heard of people pouring in their life savings, wasting hours, losing connection with family and friends. I had thought addiction wasn’t for me; it’s for idiots and poor people. I was going to manage this like Robert Downey Jr manages cocaine, with some fucking class.
I remember it so vividly. It was around 9 o’clock. I was on the Frankston line. Some charming young debutant had just urinated at the end of the carriage. She was crouched over like an arthritic dog screaming to the assembled congregation, “don’t look at me” and “I’m peeing”. As though the puddle of aquatic by-product seeping its way under seats wasn’t enough of a clue. After a quick carriage change I knew that I faced a whole train journey without any public displays of indecency to keep me entertained.
Being from generation Y I, like many of my peers, have been brought up on a solid diet of hand held social media and Internet porn. Consequently we are unable to face a moment without some sort of sensory input. God forbid we pull ourselves out of our iPhones and take in the real world. I find it’s all far too depressing. To cure the coming calamity of boredom I decided to download a new app. The app was Candy Crush.
It all stared innocently enough. The game was simple, easy and dumb. Those cascading colourful candies, however, triggered something deep in my brain. Like Taylor Swift and men, I just couldn’t stop. At first it was just a boredom breaker. On the train, on the toilet, a little candy crushin’ before bed. What was the harm? As the levels got harder and the gaps between triple cascades or a completed puzzle become further and further apart I started crushin’ more often. I was soon crushin’ while out with friends. I’d sneak off to the toilet and get my candy jollies on while trashed lads banged on the door.
Even at this stage it was fine. Sure, maybe sitting for so long on the toilet that my arse had permanent indents wasn’t the best, but I’m not Kim Kardashian. I like to believe that I have some degree of talent outside of the fat deposits on my lower back. Yeah, maybe screaming at my younger brother that I would “fucking destroy him” after finally passing his highest level was a little over the top. Everything was still fine.
Right up until the point when I actually paid real money to beat a particularly difficult level. I had to remove all the blocking candy whilst trying to get fruit down to the bottom of the level. I had been stuck for days, It was fucked up hard.
I paid 6 dollars for enough ‘game boosts’ to see me through.
Now, I’ve never paid for sex before, but I imagine that the vague shame and itchy crotch that I felt after paying real money for something called a “lollipop hammer” is pretty much comparable.
Like many things in life, Candy Crush is an utter waste of time and ultimately pointless. They say the first step on the road to recovery is admitting that you have a problem. Well, I have a problem. I’m not a Robert Downey Jr, I’m not classy, I’m not cool. I’m a Lindsay Lohan when it comes to crushin’ candy, it’s just a little sad.
For now I just can’t stop. I’m still stuck on level 97, I got to get my fix.