Candy Crush, Master Teacher
This one goes deep.
If you haven't played the ubiquitous game of moving various brightly coloured dots around, making them wipe out lines and rows and create other, more powerful dots, and eventually completing the tasks and advancing to the next level, you are missing out. It's fun and a great time-passer, but oh, it's so much more. Hidden within the delicious depths of Crunchy Castle, Caramel Cove, Pastille Pyramid, and Gingerbread Glade are life lessons, and traversing these landscapes is a workout in a match-three puzzle emotional gymnasium.
As you play this game, you will experience moments of euphoria and despair. You will breathe a sigh of relief, you will hold your breath, you will suddenly exclaim, "Why?!" in the middle of your doctor's quiet waiting room. You will go from wondering what the point of it all is, to a fist-pumping "Yes" and back again. You may even lose your entire game history after updating, thus experiencing an even higher level of zen training.*
Imagine you're trying to line up a row of five same-coloured candies so you can create the powerful nonpareil candy bomb. New candies are dropping into the puzzle with every move, creating new possibilities for matches you weren't expecting. Suddenly, one move sets off a chain reaction of glorious, but devastating candy explosions that destroy all the matches you were attempting to arrange. You feel very disappointed. In fact, that event will silently press "play" on the tape recorder in your mind (yes, I said tape recorder) and now you have all your memories from your life's "Best Laid Plans Collection" playing in the background.
Now imagine you've played an amazing game, with some extremely lucky matches and lots of exciting candy explosions. You've amassed 131,880 points and three stars. But, you have only one move left and nothing you do will cause the three goals to be met. So many points, stars, and unmet goals. How do you choose to react? Do you tell yourself at least this is the highest score you've reached in a long time? That it was fun anyway? That the goals are stupid and too hard? That it's the game's fault for not providing the right candies at the right time?
If you haven't thought those kinds of thoughts about life, I put it to you that you are a robot. Or possibly, a one-year old. (A one-year old who can read a blog.)
Observe the similarities:
There will be more on this topic, because the metaphors keep coming. (Don't even get me started on the chocolate that spreads and chokes out all possible moves.) But, in the meantime...
May the candy rise up to meet you.
May the Coconut Wheel be always at your back.
May the glow of your iPad always shine upon your face,
and Jelly Fish fall soft upon your jelly.
P.S. In computational complexity theory, Candy Crush Saga, along with many other similar match three games, was proven to be NP-hard. Thanks, Wikipedia!
* I tried everything to get it back. There is no one answering anguished emails at the Candy Crush offices. They should at least start their troubleshooting page with a randomly generated empathy statement.