I avoid all facebook games and, in fact, video games of all sorts, and frequently express disdain for them in public. However, I do occasionally get sucked in.
Our latest family addiction is Pixwords. My wife has it on her phone, and so does my son, although he usually plays it in Czech, so I’m not even tempted to participate. Come to think of it, maybe that’s why my wife plays in English. Sneaky.
Anyway, it’s basically a mini crossword, just four words, and the clue for each is a picture. Sometimes it’s a little bit tricky but often as not it’s straightforward and the only trick is knowing what the object pictured is, just knowing the word in English. Once you get all four, you get a brief congratulatory message and it pops up with the next level right away.
Helena assures me that it is possible to complete the game, that there are not, in fact, infinite levels, but I haven’t seen an end to it yet. It is kind of addictive. I suspect that the appeal of these games is that repeated flashing of “Level completed!” Even though it is absurdly easy, it feels good to complete a task and have somebody – even a machine – tell you how smart you are.
Another one I got sucked into today, on facebook, was “How Well Do You Know ______?” It was from somebody I know in real life, although not terribly well, so I took the quiz, trying to match her up to her favorite food, which emoji best described her, what animal she would be, stuff like that. The results told me what I already knew, that I didn’t really know her all that well.
I think I’ll keep trying to avoid games and quizzes. Life is short, there is so much to see, so much to learn. There is no time to waste.