CHICO – A new Candy Crush rehabilitation and treatment center is set to open in Chico later this summer.
The center, named Crush D’Urge, helps people with Candy Crush addictions lessen their dependency on the game with the help of “talk therapy and non-technological distractions,” said their new public-relations director, Misty Jordan.
A current addict, who asked not to be identified, allowed the Synthesis to interview her as she prepares to fight for control over her life.
“I saw the evidence [of Candy Crush’s toll] for a long time. One friend after another would start playing and sending me requests on Facebook, and I resisted for months. One day though, I was just bored enough to say ‘why not’ and that’s how it all began.”
She recounted her story of losing control over the amount of time and money she would spend on the game, and lamented how rapidly her life began to unravel.
“[Candy Crush] didn’t force me to watch ads, it was free to download, and the boosters cost me nothing at first, so I didn’t think much of it, really. I loved the challenge—the way it made me feel to have the ability to solve little puzzles in the moments spent in the bathroom or waiting for the bus or sitting in front of some boring TV show my family wanted to watch. Then I started to pay—99 cents here, $1.99 there—for special candies to help me finish a level; before I knew what was happening to me, my email inbox was full of messages from iTunes telling me I’d spent another ten or twelve dollars. I only started playing in the middle of June and in one month I have spent almost $150.”
Crush D’Urge aims to give addicts the tools they need to turn their lives around by giving their smartphones to counselors who will remove the app, and replace it with a less challenging, less visually-stimulating game that requires players to watch advertisements, decreasing their desire to use it. After the first few days of allowing a patient to play some crappy, boring, ugly game to the point of pure irritation, the center takes them outside and lets them do some gardening work. Most addicts respond favorably to the opportunity to crush insects and pull down rows of weeds without concern that a chocolate generator will impede their progress.
Snacks at the treatment center are carefully chosen so as not to trigger any relapse, by not reminding the addicts of jellybeans, gumdrops, or anything covered in coconut. Even those containing cherries and nuts are forbidden.
“I’m looking forward to the day when I can see a chunk of a Hershey bar and not have nightmares,” said the unidentified woman. “They haunt me.”
A ribbon cutting will be held on July 17, Sugar Crush!