Candy Crush lately.... yeah, that addicting Facebook game.... yup, that one... I know I shouldn't admit it, but... there is some relevancy. While I usually write about technology in the classroom, I think it's appropriate considering the events of the past two weeks to talk about how seemingly silly games serve an important purpose.
I've been playing a lot of Candy Crush as a distraction. I don't want to focus on or exist in the moment, so I will use Candy Crush as a way to check out. But the more I look at the design of the game, and the more I look at how the game board is laid out, I realized that it is a metaphor for life. Now I'm sure the creators of Candy Crush are not as philosophical as I am about their game, but bear with me.
When I look at the design of it, each level is a little square puzzle, connected by a track, and as each puzzle is solved, I then move on the track to the next level. Some levels are easier to pass than others and, I'll admit, there have been a few levels that I got stuck on. When faced with this "adversity," I could have given up. I could have thrown my phone. I could have researched cheat codes. I could have whined and cried, lamenting my misfortune. I could have paid for an upgrade. Instead, I relied on the generosity of friends (ie. free lives and extra moves) and just kept persisting until I got to the next level, knowing that eventually I could beat it.
This makes me wonder about students who persist in playing games in class on their device. What are their reasons for playing? Do they need a break, too? Can they realize when it is time to put the game down and return on their own with out my harping? How can my classroom be a place where they do not need the distraction or break?