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Life Lessons from a Bubble-Exploding Game

Updated on February 21, 2020
Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank wrote humorous bits for her college newspaper many years ago. Her funny observations have continued in print and online.

Are there really life lessons in this stupid computer game?

It is a seemingly innocent "bubble-exploding computer game", but there's something strangely compelling about it.

I am extremely proud to report my success -- at last -- in clearing the board with 987 thousand-some points. Probably it only took about 937 tries, because I am not a fast learner.

I am, maybe, a bit compulsive in the human-computer competition area, especially if the game is rather simplistic.

This diversion has probably robbed me of a significant percentage of the useful time I have been allotted on earth, and at this stage of my life I'm not sure I have a lot of allotted hours left to waste.

There dozens of variations

The Benefits

On the other hand, I believe it has become sort of a meditative exercise which effectively clears my mind of worrisome things I need to do, like cleaning house, paying bills, sleeping, eating, bathing, flossing my teeth and giving the dog proper pats.

Each day, I tell myself that I will NOT waste time proving that I can do this.

Myself does not always listen-- but at least now she seems more satisfied that it doesn't have to prove it anymore -- but then again -- Could it have been a fluke? Could I really do it again?

No, I don't post my name or my score! It could put me in danger of being involuntarily committed to a rehab program for bubble-exploding marble game addicts.

Why am I drawn to this mindless game when my mind is supposed to be properly educated and not so easily amused? Why am I compelled to waste this much time blowing up colored bubbles when the risk of failure is so high? Even when there is success-- there is no real reward or even and the illusion of succeeding at something.

It's kinda like this -- but not exactly.
It's kinda like this -- but not exactly. | Source

No Fanfare

This game does not play a fanfare or unfurl virtual celebratory banners. It doe not give you exploder points, or exploder scores. When you succeed in clearing the board, what do you have?

You have a blank board. That's it.

Deep down, I believe there must be a reason for everything, so I have convinced myself that the exploding bubbles of many different colors must have a hidden spiritual meaning or important life-lesson.

I have decided that in order to justify the time I have wasted, I must invent some philosophical justifications that apply to the game and to life Itself.

These are the things I have come up with:

  • Sometimes when you shoot too fast -- you miss a better opportunity that you would have seen if you had been less impatient. Patience is a virtue to be learned and practiced.
  • Sometimes the overall situation changes unexpectedly -- one little shift presents a whole new situation. You have to learn and practice being adaptable.
  • When you are doing well on one part -- the other side is slowly inching down to wreck your chance of finishing. Not looking at the whole picture can be disastrous. You have to learn and practice being holistic.
  • It's better to aim for higher possibilities, unless it's necessary to wipe out the lower ones that might suddenly end the game. Set your goals high-- and knock down the little things in the process.
  • At a certain point -- when you have eliminated one or two problems, the game seems simpler-- but it becomes more important to see what resources are coming up, and strategically use the upcoming opportunities. When you have the basics figured out, you can see other possibilities.
  • Making the most points at one time is not always the best choice if it blocks your next opportunity, but sometimes one action can taking out two problems.
  • Sometimes a mistake is the best shot you could have made. Disaster often sets up the next opportunity.
  • Sometimes your advantage is lost by a lapse of concentration. You've got to use what you have at the moment.
  • Planning too far ahead doesn't work: things change.

But wait, There's more...

  • Sometimes it's your own fault.
  • Surprising opportunities and disasters can occur. Your choice can set off a chain reaction, for good or ill
  • Keeping things open gives more possibilities.
  • Banking a shot is often better than than the full on attack.
  • The side from which you approach a problem can make all the difference.
  • Sometimes wiping out the whole problem at once, leaves you with out additional options.
  • Things that look like they might work, won't always: things that look hopeless aren't, always. You can't always tell the difference. You have to decide it it's worth a shot.
  • When you pretty much have things figured out and things are going better than usual, something unexpected happens.
  • And when you almost see things clearly-- a bunch of old stuff comes back for you to deal with.
  • It seems like it will go on forever, but it can end suddenly.

The link I usually use to reach the game isn't working today.

It's all for the best.

I've already learned too much.


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