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Words With Friends: Is it Killing my Scrabble Game?

September 15th, 2011 | 3 Comments

I just played the words “washier” in the online game Words With Friends, a Scrabble-type game where you can place and arrange your letters until you get it right. In traditional Scrabble, you must be certain that your word is actually valid because if it isn’t,  you lose your turn.  Of course, if you are player of some repute, you may be able to bluff your way to some sweet points with a bogus word because your opponent is too afraid to challenge you and potentially lose her turn!  Thus, all things being equal, you must have a pretty good sense that your word is actually a word or you pay the price.  This is not the case in Words With Friends. Mistakes, botched spellings, and wild hair attempts at constructing a word are all copasetic.  It’s all good.

As a long time Scrabble player, it took me awhile to get used to the consequence-free Words With Friends format. Just now, I was ready to place the word washer on the board.  Then I thought, “What the hell?  Why not try washier?! It uses all 7 letters!”  I couldn’t believe it when it wasn’t rejected.   However, here’s the incredible part: washier is actually a word meaning more diluted.  Well now I have that word in my back pocket for the next time I sit at the Scrabble table and play the real deal.

However, I can’t decide if I like the opportunity to fiddle around with my letters and find a combination that works.  For every “oh wow, that’s a word?” that turns out in my favor, there are 5 others that do not fly.  I can guarantee that I don’t remember what was acceptable and what wasn’t in Words With Friends when I sit down to play Scrabble.  Am I hacking up my respectable Scrabble prowess by playing this crazy game? It’s hard to say.

There is an addictive quality to Words With Friends.  It’s almost like a jigsaw puzzle where you can shift the pieces around until they fit together.  I have also found out that if I am stuck, walking away from the game and returning to it brings a new angle.  You can’t do THAT in Scrabble because it’s a timed game when you are playing it the right way.  So now I won’t be able to play under pressure?

Talk about insidious!…Your thoughts?





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