27 Aug 2015


This free app should carry some sort of warning. It is not free at all. It costs you hours and hours of your life. I have downloaded then scrubbed it from my phone on 4 separate occasions. It is an OCDers dream slash nightmare.

Remember Tetris? It's just like that, but without gravity. You place blocks within a 10x10 square grid, then once a row or line of 10 is complete, it disappears. If you are smart / lucky, you can clear multiple rows or columns at once eg:

L: Orange block is placed in bottom right corner
R: Both the completed horizontal and vertical lines disappear at once. Boom!

After realising the true cost of this game I repent, screenshot my current high score*, scrub it off my phone, then a few months later I cave and download it again because:
• we are planning a long trip in the car
• I get the flu
• I kid myself I am now mature enough to make sound gaming decisions
• Some other flimsy rationale
And the whole cycle starts again.

I like tidying up actual things that you can touch and read and trip up over. I enjoy putting things away where they belong or reorganising them so the space in the room works better. This character trait is the nearest thing I have to explaining why 1010 affects me the way it does. It's like tidying up a never ending supply of pixels in the most minimalistic way possible. I have this fantastic notion that if I manage to clear the game board completely the blocks will stop appearing. Although this has actually happened twice and the blocks did not stop. This made me anxious.

And now I have the flu and have ingested many over the counter drugs and am dreaming about a constant stream of objects which need to be tidied up. It's quite exhausting. The virus is totally messing with my brain and the blocks represent real tasks that need to get done- like food shopping and updating a website and taking a shower and answering emails and reading to the kids and some other stuff I can't remember the details of, but in the dream it's really important to do them all.

Sometimes the blocks are so difficult to place I'll struggle for ages thinking I've lost in real life - then suddenly a space is there and wayhey! a whole row disappears and the game plays on. Until I wake up exhausted and sweating and coughing and reaching for the brufen before I've opened my eyes.

But it works out in the end. Both when dreaming and awake. Despite the odds - which makes me think that the block order is not random, but divinely purposed in order that a solution is always possible. Sometimes the blocks are a pure GIFT - the next one fitting in exactly the same spot I was focussed on and clearing 3 lines and 3 columns in one move. Bam! The block giver knew what was needed and gave it. Other times it's far more congested and scary and things are really tight and I think this may be the last round, but I've got to just not panic and remember that gravity has been suspended. Like bullet time in the Matrix, there's time to look around. And even a poor decision now can be overturned with the next set of blocks which will offer an alternative. The game is rigged so I win.

These life lessons are interesting, but not worth it on balance. I should scrub this game off my phone again... after the flu goes...


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