Friday, June 1, 2012

Let's Talk Scrabble

When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.  
Victor Frankl

My husband thinks playing Scrabble online is a complete waste of time. He tells me this while he is flipping channels on the television set. I'm thinking there are worse ways to spend my time and I enjoy playing Scrabble. I'm good at it. So, there.

I also understand it is one of those things that distracts you from what is really going on in your life, but for the past year or so, fun distractions have been most welcome in my world. I could have found something else - like a boyfriend, or drugs, even more wine or, God help me, channel changing. But, no, I chose Scrabble. I play with a few of my friends and my sister-in-law and brother-in-law. And when they don't play often enough to satisfy my desire to form words, I choose a random player. From that has come a small group of people I play often.

Many people I know play Words with Friends and I tried that. But cheesy design, too many bells and whistles, and too many cheaters for my taste. Where is the satisfaction in resorting to an app to find the right word for the most points? It's like having the questions to Jeopardy right in front of you while Alex reads the answers.

Not to say there aren't cheaters in Scrabble. If I get into a random game with someone who has an incredible record and consistent scores in the 500's - CHEATER! I opt out of the game and wait for more of a purist.  Plus it is most certainly not like sitting down at the table and playing the real game for there is that little dictionary there that tells me that thone and qi are words. But it is similar to the real game and fun. And, did I say I'm pretty good at it?

But, my fun hiding place has been turned upside down. The past few days it has been hard to get the game onto my screen without freezing. Then, a new game board appeared and advertisements kept popping up. I had to spend quite a while finding my games amid all the clutter and cheese of boxes asking me to invite everyone on my Facebook list to play with me and a bunch of other crap I had no desire to see.  And, the screen looked just like Words with Friends. A mess, indeed.

I may do my best to keep up with the changes in life (I can text. I succumbed to a Kindle), but when I go hide in a Scrabble game, by God, I want to play Scrabble. Not feel like I'm at a carnival with barkers taunting me to come into the tent - and then having to wait 5 seconds before I can click away the ad unless I want to entice 3 of my friends to play Scrabble and then I can be ad-free for one whole week. Wow -- who thought that up?

I voiced my complaint on their feedback bar - after waiting two days for that bar to work. Perusing their discussion lines, I'm not the only one upset. I haven't seen one positive comment. Many are calling for a boycott. I say YES!

Are there better causes? Probably. Is there a more serious essay here that I could develop? Absolutely. Do I care at this moment? No.

Yet another forced change in my life, but this one, nope, this one, I don't have to accept. I'll finish the games I have going. Maybe play once in a while with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law, but other than that, I'm done.

Perhaps I'll take up writing in my journal lonesome for my confused thoughts, or working on that unfinished novel, or cleaning my house. (Maybe not that last one.) Or, maybe I'll just play the real game when I get a chance.

Now that's Words with Friends.


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