Friday, November 15, 2013

Candy Crush: Psychiatry's New Frontier? Watch Dinah on Al Jazeera America Tonight at 10:45 PM Eastern Time


It started innocently enough: a conversation with an old high school friend about Angry Birds.  Joe warned me, "Don't do it. It's like crack."  Soon, I was hooked, and I wrote a blog post called A Brief Psychological Analysis of Angry Birds.  It got picked up by KevinMD and a legal blog.  It got a lot of Facebook 'likes,' more than any for my profound psychiatry writings.  Isn't that silly?

Last week, I was contacted by Eliana Docterman, a reporter at Time Magazine.  I know about Angry Birds, could I comment on Candy Crush, it's taking the country by storm, millions of downloads with people spending a lot of money while they abandon their lives to cuddle with their phones.  Candy Crush?  I'd never heard of Candy Crush.  I downloaded the app and started to play, and I spoke with Eliana and gave her my "professional" opinion of why this game was appealing.  I say "professional" because video games are not my area of expertise.  I made it to Level 23, by the way, before I got stuck for 2 days and deleted the app from my phone (--one way of dealing with an "addiction").  

Eliana's article Candy Crush: The Science Behind Our Addiction appeared online this morning, and my phone started ringing.  Would I be on the radio? Would I be on TV?  I called ClinkShrink -- is this too silly?  We're psychiatrists, we can speculate, like everyone else, about video games, but really this isn't what people come to us for.   Clink declared it "Goofy."  I prefer the terms 'silly,' 'light-hearted,' or in this case 'sweet.'

So tune in to Consider This on Al Jezeera America tonight at 10:45 PM Eastern Time and I will be on with Time Magazine reporter Eliana Docterman and host, Antonio Mora.  It's filming live, so let's hope I can stay awake that late -- I may be trying for a sugar high at that hour.  Perhaps a little candy?