LONDON- With three young children and a full-time job, Emma Martini has little time for computer games. But every night she sits quietly at the end of her son’s bed to reassure him while he falls asleep — and plays Candy Crush.
“It stops me sitting there in the dark for 15 minutes staring at the wall!” the 32-year-old told AFP, laughing.
Martini is one of the legion of fans of the addictive online game, many of whom can be seen playing it at every spare minute on their tablets and smartphones.
Unlike conventional console games that can take hours, Candy Crush Saga is one of the most popular of the new “casual games” that can be played in short bursts and on the move.
It has seeped into every day life — and attracted new audiences, with women making up two-thirds of Candy Crush players, according to its British developer King.
“I’m not into computers and what little time I’ve got I’m inclined to spend reading a book,” said Martini, a teaching assistant from Spilsby in eastern England.
But she was persuaded to download Candy Crush by her mother, 52, who was “driving me crackers” sending requests to join the game on Facebook and help her pass the next level.
Now Martini plays every evening as her four-year-old dozes off, saying: “I’m filling a void of time.”
“Casual gaming has really taken off in the female population,” said Mark Griffiths, director of the International Gaming Research Unit at Nottingham Trent University.
“Most of it is fitting in between the baby having a sleep, or on the commute on the way home, but it’s not something that takes over from the important things in your life.
“It’s there as a quick fix for boredom.”