I should probably delete "Candy Crush" from my phone. I'm not going to, but I probably should. Here's why:
The other day while having a conversation with my sister, I found myself wishing I could reach across the space between us, place my index finger on her left eye, my thumb on her right eye and squish them together until they exploded and disappeared. Sadly this isn't even a move in "Candy Crush," though it's similar to one, but for it to really work her eyes would have to be made of candy and she would need to have at least three. I also long to group trees, cars and buildings into groups of three — or, be still my heart, groups of four — and slam them together to make them disappear.
It's not that I'm destructive, mind you. It's that I'm obsessed.
For the uninitiated, "Candy Crush" — or "Candy Crush Saga," its full name — is a super popular game that refers to itself as "an addictive and delicious puzzle adventure." It's made by King.com, a British company that's currently the top supplier of games to Facebook and Apple (they passed Zynga, maker of "Words with Friends" and other popular games, in June) and worth somewhere between 5 billion and 7 billion dollars.
I'm not really a big video game or puzzle person. In fact, I can think of nothing more deadly boring than a big jigsaw puzzle spread out in a zillion pieces on an empty table. To me, jigsaw puzzles have always been something you do to pass the time when you have absolutely zero better options. I can imagine someone saying: "You guys go ahead to prom. I'll just stay here and work on this thousand-piece puzzle of a kitten.
"No, you guys go ahead to the amusement park. I'm under house arrest and the electricity has gone out, so I'm going to drink cold Postum and work on this 2000-piece jigsaw puzzle of a dandelion.
"Hot air ballooning? I couldn't possibly go hot air ballooning with you. I am paralyzed from the waist down and have contracted scabies, so I'm just going to stay home, break in these new pajamas, scratch myself and put the finishing touches on this 3000-piece puzzle of, get this, a hot air balloon!"
In terms of time wasters, I'm more of an '80s sitcom and mess-around-on-Twitter person. Sometimes I'll spend an hour or two looking for something I've misplaced — but somewhere in between hearing my fiance talk to my mom about how much money the makers of "Candy Crush" had raked in and how he refuses to download the app because he's convinced it's somehow so persuasive it convinces otherwise sensible people to part with tons of money to keep playing, I decided I would take that challenge. It's sort of the online equivalent of being compelled to take a drug after watching an after school special.
Thus far I haven't fallen into financial ruin or sold an organ on the black market to keep playing. The only negative consequence of allowing "Candy Crush" into my life — I mean, other than wanting to squish my sister's eyes — is that it's functioning like a gateway drug, and I need something stronger. Candy is dandy but strip clubs and murder might be more my speed. Do I dare dip a toe into the world of "Grand Theft Auto V"? My coworkers have discussed looking at their calendars and making sure they didn't have anything they really needed to get done before purchasing the game. Unfortunately, once again, I see this as a challenge. Other than a ton of work and planning a wedding, I think I'm wide open!
So, talk to you in a few months?
Hear more from Alison Rosen on her podcast, "Alison Rosen Is Your New Best Friend" or on the immensely popular "Adam Carolla Show" podcast. Follow her on Twitter @alisonrosen or visit her website at www.alisonrosen.com. To find out more about Alison Rosen and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.