Debt Due to Mobile Gaming Apps
I’m ashamed to say I’m a hypocrite, I’ve succumbed to temptation and done something I promised I never would.
When my children ask to buy coins, pets or extras on Facebook games I always refuse. They know now not to ask. I tell them what a con it is and why they shouldn’t trade real money for fake stars or items that only exist in cyber space.
Sugar Coated Sirens
Then I found Candy Crush. I like to think that I’m an individual that doesn’t follow the crowd, so I primed myself not to like it. In truth, I’m probably more mainstream than you are and aren’t as different as I try to believe.
After a couple of levels I was completely hooked. There’s something about swapping those candies and clearing that jelly that gives me an enormous sense of satisfaction. Almost hypnotic instead of reading the latest Karin Slaughter of an evening, I could be found sat up in bed until the wee hours glued to my phone and Candy Crush.
I enjoyed every minute even looking forward to my commute to London as from York to Kings Cross I’d have 2 hours and twenty minutes of free Candy Crush time.
Then it began to get difficult. Some levels were shorter and I’d run out of lives in seconds. I could either wait 30 minutes for the next life or part with a poultry 69 pence for an extra five. The first time I chose to buy I scolded myself, told myself it was less than a pound, a small price to pay for an hour’s entertainment.
It was so easy too, just a click of a button and lives were totted up, I was in control, I didn’t have to pester friends with “uncool” games requests. I had this covered.
Many times Candy Crush crashed, taking my lives with it, or losing my “extras” so I’d have to buy them all over again. Once I’d crossed the boundary of buying lives, it was so simple to buy lollipop hammers, extra time, wibbly wobbly spotted balls and stripy sweets to help finish off a difficult level. It was nice knowing that if I got stuck I could simply buy my way out.
Of course I didn’t wait for tickets to cross the borders, I bought them. Just 69p right?
A Guilty Secret
I didn’t tell anyone what I was doing, I’d waxed lyrical long enough about how in game buying was a sly way for companies to make money. It was my guilty secret. Besides, the game finished at level 330, I was at level 300 already, and I’d soon be free.
As I raced towards the finish line, I bought more and more in a twisted belief that I was accelerating my release from this addiction. Then, as I completed level 330 my ios7 updated my apps automatically and I was faced with another thirty levels to play.
These updates took me to level 410, making my poison last another full month. Last week I completed the entire game, this morning it updated again.
It’s easy to say “leave it alone” or “don’t buy” but once in the zone these pennies seem so insignificant that a single click is so simple. I celebrate the willpower I have to never play during work hours or while the children are awake but I am a slave to the game.
I’ve not yet added up exactly how much I’ve spent, (a quarter of which is due to King.com crashes deleting the info) but I’d guess it’s in the region of £200. Those 69ps really do add up.
The buck stops here though, as soon I’ll be free, right after I’ve completed the last ten levels up to number 420.