This is what Candy Crush does to your brain

What level of Candy Crush are you stuck on? 42? 73? 130? 305? I myself can’t get passed level 140. Yet despite the frustratingly frequent losses and time-outs, I can’t seem to put the game down. So just what is it about this mind-numbingly simple app that has us all so enthralled?

My latest piece in The Guardian explores the addictive nature of Candy Crush — its similarities to slot machines, how it taps into our dopamine learning and reward circuitry, the illusion that we are in control of the game, and how the finite number of lives actually makes it extra enticing when we are let back into Candyland.

While the game isn’t actually harming you (presuming you’re not throwing away money on it), it is a time-sink, so instead of playing another round, check out my article instead!

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One thought on “This is what Candy Crush does to your brain

  1. I only recently started playing Candy Crush and finding your article explained exactly what I was feeling. What I was curious about as well, however, was the level of negative reinforcement that the game inflicts upon the user. Oh No! and You are out of moves. plus You have failed level…., which seems to me to be beating up on the player. When I first started I found it so negative that I didn’t play for a year. Someone on facebook got me started again, but when I asked about how negative it was, no one seems to think so. Why is that? do we actually feel compelled to “try again” and why don’t we seem aware of the negative taunts? Just curious if you noticed as well,

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