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Are You Crushin’?

Are you a Candy Crush addict? Do you find yourself sneaking your phone under the table at dinner just to try to beat a level? Don’t worry, you are far from alone!

Before Candy Crush hit the pages of Facebook and the screens of millions of smartphones all over the world, King, the “worldwide leader in casual games,” released it on King.com. Because of its success there, it was later put on Facebook in April 2012, and rapidly rose on the game rating charts, reaching 46 million users per month. Taking the game to the next level, King released an app version of the game in November 2012.

Since then, Candy Crush has become the #1 online game with 45 million players a month and over 15 million players per day as of May 2013, surpassing the Facebook favorite, Farmville by almost 5 million players.  Today, Candy Crush is at the top of the app popularity charts, and is #1 in many categories such as the “puzzle games” on the iPhone and iPad, and the “arcade games” on the iPhone. 

Candy Crush originally targeted women ages 22-55 based on data indicating that this group would influence other groups to join in on the game. However,  men of all ages have also gotten addicted to this candy crush-phenomenon. So why has this game become such a huge craze for men and women of all ages?

It’s likely that the design of the game has made Candy Crush’s popularity spike so quickly. It isn’t too hard that prevents progress in the game, but isn’t so easy that users get bored. The developers of the game found the perfect balance between the two, leaving you wanting more, but not screaming in frustration.

Caroline Grace Williams, a freshman at Miami, said that she is one of millions who have become addicted to the game. 

“I am obsessed with it because it’s really fun and really entertaining,” Williams said. “I bribe myself by telling myself that I can play it if I finish my homework. It is addicting because it never ends. I have spent money to unlock more than 10 levels on the game.”

Who would have thought that a game filled with lining up candies and avoiding bombs would have brought in $675,000 per day from people buying extra lives? Although this is great for the game developers and for people deriving entertainment from the game, doctors are concerned that this candy-crazed behavior is turning into an unhealthy obsession.

Dr. Betsy Gard, a psychologist interviewed by Fox News, states “that [game players] are avoiding or not giving enough time to work or school or family time, and that they are spending increasing amounts of money [on Candy Crush].”

Researchers studying Candy Crush are concerned they will discover that playing this game is similar to alcohol or drugs in its ability to truly addict people to the game. Like drug and alcohol addiction, some experts believe Candy Crush addicts may need therapy in order to move past the unhealthy addiction, and eventually be able to play the game in an obsession-free way.

There’s no doubt Candy Crush has taken the world by storm, and not only do millions of people play it each day, but it brings in thousands of dollars daily. This game continues to rise in popularity, and there’s no shortage of Miami students who play the game. If you are Candy Crushin’ days in and days out, remember to make time to go out with friends, work out, and do things you used to do before Candy Crush and social media took over your life. It’s great to set a goal to reach that next Candy Crush level, but remember to take it in moderation and prevent that nasty addiction experts are concerned about.

So now the big question is, how long will the world continue to be crushin?

 

I am from Nashville, TN, and I am a freshman at Miami University.
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