I stumbled across this comic and was surprised how much it affected me. I have played this game a lot as a kid, and with my own kids, and have enjoyed it a lot.
How would the game be different if drew a random card instead of taking them in order? Mathematically no different from shuffling the pack of cards at the start. In fact, any dice game where no decisions are made is exactly the same, snakes and ladders for example. And we have the feeling that we doing well, or we are behind, and we feel a sense of victory at the end even though it hasn't been earned.
How about anything that happens in life?
- The only way the player can be truly happy is to acknowledge the absurdity of the game, and to play it anyway! To accept existence as it is and still find joy in it. To become the absurd hero of Candyland!
I'm not a student of philosophy, so these ideas may be naïve or old hat to others, but not to me. I do recall being blown away as a teenager when I realize that everything is predetermined. I find it difficult to enjoy existence under such a mind-set, though, and instead choose to believe that my decisions are my own and not the result of neurons firing in an order that is determined by events happening around me constantly that are not under my control.