Competition Feeds Addiction

I saw that one of my favorite authors of who I met through Second Life (NaNoWriMo 2007 & 2009) had added me as a friend to her face book account. I started looking around and noticed she was proud to have a high score in a game of Bejeweled Blitz from PopCap Games. I was even able to watch a little video of her achieving her high score. I decided to play a little bit on the flash version of the game.

I’m not someone who likes to play games against the clock. I’d much prefer to have as much time as I can get to plan ahead with strategy. This game is just like Bejeweled, except that it is only one minute long. Strategy goes out the window because you also get a bit more points for how quick to make matches as well.

At first, I wasn’t doing so well. The games play very fast, so my skill seemed to improve (slowly) over time. The randomness of my score in each game didn’t make me feel any better. I would have a high score of 25,000 points in one game, and the next would be 6,000.

The game seems to have many trophies (and levels of trophies) to achieve. It also has something similar with medals (which your friends can see). If you get 25,000 points in a game, you’ll get a metal. Get so many levels and your metal level improves. There are also Ranks for your total points accumulated over time. I’m up to rank 4 (beginner) after a couple hours of play. All of these “stats” really build up to make it look like I’m actually getting something accomplished.

Another “stat” appears to be the tournament. If your face book friends play the game, then you have a better chance of  being entered into a random drawing. Your team consists of you and your friends. If the total of everyones weekly high scores reaches one million points, then you are entered into the drawing. This weeks prize is a laptop worth one thousand dollars.

With the list of my friends scores, I was determined like crazy to try to get a better score. I’ve tried for hours now, and I only came close once. At that time, so much was happening on the screen that I couldn’t tell what was going on. You can use bonuses to try and get more points. You buy a bonus before you start playing with coins. You can win coins during the game, or get them as promotional offers. I got 50,000 coins for downloading the software rather than playing the flash game on face book. The software is fully functional for about an hour. I got an extra million after I purchased the game. The software has one drawback in that it doesn’t record a video of your game like the flash version does.

At this point, I believe I will need to get control over my addiction to the game and stop playing. I’ve gotten enough to get into the drawing. It’s just that I really wanted to get a higher score than my friend.

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