Against my doctor’s and dentist’s advice, I am shovelling in the boiled sweets again. Is this somehow linked to my playing Candy Crush?
Without the benefit of a Psychology qualification I am going to take a punt at it anyway. The comfort food sweetness with all its childhood associations is an easy one. Treats were sweets and boiled sugar doesn’t come much sweeter. Cherry drops from the corner shop after choir practice is the memory triggered if I suck on those as an adult. Sherbet dabs usually bought with a bottle of Tizer takes me back to my grandma’s street in Betws, South West Wales, where penny chews and sweet prawns were on display in the local shop along with liquorice strings, sugar mice and flying saucers. A few coppers went a long way in those days.
Candy Crush, a game to line up three symbols by swapping pieces is pretty simple. But I got sucked in. Once you have figured out the basics and have zipped through the early stages, you’re hooked. The journey is a long one with variations and difficulties that call for some strategic moves, but nothing too taxing.
I usually play the game as a treat after work. It helps me wind down before I hit the road, but it can delay me for up to an hour some days. I was surprised that a friend on facebook was always requesting additional lives, but he tells me that he plays it to relieve the boredom of conference calls – it’s tough at the top.
So to conclude with some cod psychology (which has nothing to do with fish), the comforting sweetness of my carefree childhood is evoked by playing a game online that my friends are playing, and helping each other by exchanging gifts. By rewarding myself with this pastime at the end of my working day, I am suppressing any anxieties and immerse myself in game playing. This activity in an adult is a vain attempt to recapture the play activities of the inner child, but lacks the total commitment to the role of game player, retaining the safety of rationalism within the boundaries of clearly defined rules – codswallop, of course!