Greening up Games: Let’s crush the candy, plant some produce

By Sammy Caiola

Native Foods Cafe

 

Candy Crush Saga is ruining our kids.

 

If you’re one of the half billion people who have installed the ultra-addictive game app since its 2012 release- don’t feel bad.

It’s not your fault that the most downloaded app of 2013 happens to revolve around lemon drops, chiclets and jelly beans and features a guide character named Mr. Toffee. It’s also not your fault that its addicting methodology has people playing for so many hours a day that they’re developing “candy crush shoulder.”

The blame here lies with the developer, a British company called King, which makes about $1 million a day on this ultra-colorful, sticky-sweet phone game. Would it have been so hard to create Veggie Crush instead?

Truth is, people don’t really care what bits and pieces they’re shifting around on the screen, so long as they go “poof!” once they’re properly aligned. And so long as they can rack up more “poof” points than they’re friends on Facebook, they’ll be satisfied.

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Native Foods Café uses this image courtesy of itunes.apple.com

 

So why not switch things around in the name of our health? Instead of the red jelly beans, throw in a bright red tomatoes. Sub the lemon drops with golden beets and the green chiclets with heads of lettuce. And those chocolate disco-ball looking things? Let’s try an extra fancy veggie, like an artichoke heart. Instead of Mr. Toffee, let’s bring in Farmer Joe, who I’m sure has bushels of insight on how to rack up the points and climb the Veggie Crush rankings. 

If we could nix the entire Candyland theme in favor of greener pastures, would kids still go crazy for the concept? History says yes. The most popular Facebook game in 2009 was Farmville 2- a competitive app in which players acquired points by growing and selling crops.

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Native Foods Café uses this image courtesy of facebook.com

 

Kids will get hooked on whatever you put in front of them. Mom bloggers everywhere are complaining about how their kids are continually asking for candy, more so now that the bonbon bonanza has gone viral. Perhaps if the interface were just altered a little, America wouldn’t have such a nagging sweet tooth.

 

On the upside, King seems to have gotten the memo and has already come out with “Papa Pear Saga”, a brand new game for iPhone, Android and Facebook that features a bouncy tropical protagonist named Papa Pear. Apparently hazelnuts and “crazy chillies” also show up in the 100-level journey that brings players through the Fruity Forest and the Great Pyramids.

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Native Foods Café uses this image courtesy of play.google.com

 

We’re back on the right track. Parents: see if you can’t get your kids hooked on Papa Pear Saga instead of Candy Crush. Or take it to the next level, and see if you can’t get them outside for a while. 

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