SUGAR CRUSH

Woman Steals $1,700 from Disabled Mother to Feed Candy Crush Addiction

Charming.
You can check out any time you like, but you can never leeeave! (Screengrab: iTunes)

You can check out any time you like, but you can never leeeave! (Screengrab: iTunes)

The love of a family is life’s greatest blessing, they say.

In other news, a completely grown-up UK woman stole over £1,000 (US$1,705) from her disabled mother to feed her crazy Candy Crush addiction, the Telegraph reports.

The 45-year-old woman, Sally-Anne Turner, had access to her mother’s bank account when she acted as her caregiver. The mother noticed money disappearing from her bank account between February 2012 and January 2014, coincidentally during the time that her daughter “became addicted to Candy Crush Saga and other online gaming sites.”

Ms. Turner received 12 weeks’ jail time with a year-long suspension, plus a three-month curfew between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. We don’t see how forcing a person to spend evenings sitting at home alone is going to curb a Candy Crush addiction, but whatevz.

Ms. Turner was also ordered to pay the money back to her mother, but the mother has reportedly refused to accept it. The two have “resolved matters,” Ms. Turner’s lawyer told the court. Ms. Turner’s lawyer also said her client has quit playing Internet games.

Though Candy Crush is free to download, users can shell out real-life money for extra lives, extra moves and something called a “lollipop hammer,” according to the iTunes store.

Shortly after Candy Crush was valued at $7.1 billion in April, The Guardian explored all the reasons why otherwise mature adults can’t stop playing a dopey candy-themed iPhone game.

To start, there are the dopamine releases. The first Candy Crush levels are quick and easy to win, allowing for frequent releases of dopamine in your brain. As the levels become more difficult, the dopamine secretions become less frequent — making you long for them even more.

Then there’s the fact that winning is based on chance. Just like with slot machines, you’re more likely to arbitrarily win than lose, making it extra exciting to win. Also like some slot machines, the game uses imagery of candy — “tying our happy associations and the pleasure we derive from eating into the game,” according to the Guardian.

Lastly, Candy Crush puts a limit — five losses — on how many rounds you can play before you get a time-out from the game. The mandatory time-out means you’re often left unsatisfied when you stop playing the game, and extra eager to start playing again.

But hey, as long as you don’t grow into a psychotic gambling addict or neglect important parenting duties, we say play away, nerds.

Follow Jordyn Taylor on Twitter or via RSS. jtaylor@observer.com