Candy Crush Saga, mindful gaming, and the difference between motion and action
I was aware that Candy Crush Saga was a thing, enough of my family and friends play it to put it on my radar, but this is the first article I've read that explained the game. My decision to stay away feels justified after reading about the slog of Candy Crush's game play.
The article in question made me think of another concept I've read about lately, the difference between motion and action. We can be in motion constantly, and sometimes never take real action. This cycle can keep us feeling stressed out, overwhelmed, or just sick, and it keeps us there, without a real way to escape. You need to minimize the motion, and increase the action.
Games like Candy Crush are all motion, and no action. There is no real payoff here, no catharsis being offered. Your brain is busy but idle. Your fingers in motion, but accomplishing nothing. It's a loop, designed to keep you trapped for as long as possible, and also paying into the system.
When I play most games I feel like my dexterity is being put to the test, or there's an emotional payoff to what I'm experiencing. These freemium treadmills seem to be the opposite; you're kept in a state where you're running as fast as you can to stand still.
- June Thomas