Life Lessons from Candy Crush

My family was enjoying the flaming volcano knife show at Benihana this week when I causually mentioned a recent news story that more than 9 million people play Candy Crush for 3 hours or more a day. The strangers at our shared teppanyaki table guffawed, and I laughed along with them.

And my wife says, “I play Candy Crush. In fact, I played it today. And yesterday.”

I fell off my chair.

Even when you spend your career studying emerging consumer behavior and how new technology impacts them, you can easily fall into the trap of pointing and laughing “Ha-ha!” (cue Nelson from The Simpson’s) when it comes to behavior that seems outdated, counterintuitive, or in the case of Candy Crush, easily mockable.

So I installed Candy Crush and played a few games. Because “I should try it” needs to be our mindset when we don’t understand human behavior around technology. So I tried it. It’s not for me. But I get it now.

And I am even more curious about the trend of young people getting hooked on pay to win mechanics through games like these.

Me? I’m more of a Dr. Mario fan. And I don’t care if you laugh or not.