Meet Kerry Ann King
Energetic Dancer Stops Moving Long Enough to Crush Friends in Bejeweled Blitz
A professional dancer and fitness instructor might not sound like the sort of person who’d sit still and play a videogame for long stretches of time, but Kerry Ann King shatters that stereotypical mold. A vivacious 41 year old mother of four (including a set of twins), this lifelong Manhattan resident is hitting her professional stride right when other dancers would be mothballing their toe shoes, recently premiering a piece at the legendary Alvin Ailey Studios. While nice spring weather (and a break from minding those four very energetic kids) will lure Kerry Ann to linger the afternoon away in Union Square Park, she’s discovered another way to relax, whether or not the sun is shining: Bejeweled Blitz.
“I discovered Bejeweled Blitz about six months after I got a Facebook account,” she explains. “I thought that a minute was too short, at first, but I’d been a big Bejeweled addict before so I kept at it. Now,” she adds with a laugh, “I play about an hour a day. I love puzzles and races so it’s kind of perfect for me. Being a dancer is a lot about making and recognizing patterns, so maybe that’s why I like it.”
Kerry Ann has been pleasantly surprised at how the game has actually strengthened her relationship to other players. Through playing the game and competing against each other, what was once a casual acquaintance from her college years has grown into a Facebook friend she really values. “We friended each other but didn’t have much contact until we were both playing Bejeweled Blitz. We started to comment on each others’ scores, then on each others’ status, and it built from there. I’ve learned what an amazing woman/mom/wife she’s grown up to be and I really admire her. All because she was playing Bejeweled, too.”
While Kerry Ann has about 240 Facebook friends, only five of them are active on her leader board but even that relatively limited pool of participants (which includes her 67 year old mother) is more than enough to fuel Kerry Ann’s play—while there is definitely a social aspect to her play, she is driven to compete against her friends. With an all-time high score of just over 450,000 she has the skills to consistently fight her way to the top of the leader board. She also enjoys an additional advantage: a spirited cheering section. “It’s really funny because my kids are not allowed to play videogames very much but they like to watch me play Bejeweled Blitz. They are really into seeing me beat people,” she confides, “Especially my friend Lisa. They start chanting ‘Crush her, crush her!’ when she gets ahead of me. They don’t really react that way to anyone else.” More paradoxical is the support that comes from Kerry Ann’s husband. “He hates videogames and it makes him nuts that I will play it for an hour. But then,” she adds with a shrug, “He wants me to be on top of the leader board, too.”