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.


29 comments:

  1. I have not played since I was a child. I think my spelling has gotten so bad over the years I would just embarrass myself. Make sure you have not contracted a virus. It sounds a little like that.

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  2. I love scrabble,the real game with a board and tiles in front of you! My 9yr old grandson and I play all the time, and he's so good that he can already beat me!

    I'm getting irritated with a lot of things online, and most especially on facebook. The new timeline thing is a mess - I can hardly figure out what to read when I go to the ones I've gone to who have done it.

    And I hate it when I visit a random website,maybe even by accident, and all of a sudden I have advertisements on my fb page for that topic.

    And when I want to view those cute little videos of funny animal antics and have to watch an advertisement between each, making me say 'forget it' and going on to something else.

    Glad to hear from you - have thought of you often and wondered how you're doing. I haven't posted since January, I think! Also, my computer is broken and I have to steal minutes on my husband's work computer.

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  3. I totally understand about using games for some much-needed escape. And the irritation when they mess with the delivery. Maybe they'll revisit the new changes, but of course they are all trying to get more money out of their sites.

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  4. I'm a WWF gal myself, but I tend to just play with a couple of people who are so good at it, they always kick my ass. Good ol' fashion scrabble on a board with tiles sounds so .. so ... refreshing! Especially with all the app & online BS, you're right!
    (Is that your bong on the table there?)

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  5. qi - a word! I love scrabble as well but I think I need a new dictionary. Have a great weekend.
    ......:-)Hugs

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  6. I used to play with a proofreader from a newspaper.A favorite game for years.

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  7. I adore Scrabble. We used to play quite often, but when a word person marries a numbers person, the results can be disastrous (especially, sigh, for the word person). Because I played for the thrill of the words, and my partner played for points...

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  8. I started playing Scrabble with my sis-in-law...she is super good..me not so much! However, once I started challenging her words with a dictionary and using a timer I got a little bit better score! Ha! Then we took up Gin Rummy...more my game..I won 3 times in a row so my sis-in-law says no more gin rummy!...she is so competitive...me I don't care really if I win or lose...just a game....xo

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  9. I tried Scrabble on my phone but my partner was not being notified of my moves so that fizzled out in no time. We have about a dozen WWF games going now and we like that just fine. It's got ads but they only take a few seconds to disappear. I also play with a friend of mine and she whoops my butt almost every time.

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  10. Have you tried Bananagrams? Kind of like Scrabble but very portable and you can play anywhere, anytime. Nadine and I play it on breaks every time we go to a conference. Missed you this weekend - hope to see you soon!

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  11. I like Scrabble, but as with most things I enjoy, I don't do it often enough to become good at it. lol
    But... nothing deters me. I continue to be a happy amateur.

    Here's to more Scrabble for you... without interruptions of any kind!

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  12. You are funny even when you're sad. I love this post and all that you don't quite say as you take up arms against the chances in the one thing you've found comfort in.

    Have you tried Angry Birds? :-)

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  13. now that's something i never thought of...i'm following along on your journey of grief, hoping 4 the best outcome. now i'm on my own little (by comparison 2 yours) loss (temporary) of my left hand...casting about looking 4 ways 2 occupy myself

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  15. I have not played Scrabble for years. Too much time spent cleaning the house, I think.

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  17. Okay, I've just been trying to find you on FB, but no luck (I generally am inept at tracking folks down there). I was going to tell you that if you ever come back to playing it on FB, I'm your woman. I'm okay at it--I have my moments--and I always like knowing if we're playing clean or not. With one friend, she who doesn't read, it took me only a few plays to think, "There. is. no. way. she. knows. these. words. I've. never. heard. of." So I started using a cheat app with her.

    Anyhow, I'm pushing past the distractions and just looking at the words, and it works for me!

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  18. My boyfriend is a Scrabble addict, and refuses to play with people who use word generators, too. He is at a distinct advantage, though, because he knows all the two and three-letter words he can tag onto the end of existing words on the board to make two or three words in one play that give him a gazillion points. I've never noticed ads when he plays (he plays all the Scrabble-based games), so maybe he shelled out for the paid versions.

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  19. Love scrabble too. I'm a fair player but not familiar with the app of which you speak. ;-) The one thing I like about the online game is that you can play when you're ready and your opponent does the same. But still like the IRL game best.

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  21. I play Mah Jongg(?) on line as a mindless way of passing time and thinking of other things while I do so. Hubby asks 'are you still playing games?' while he browses Kijiji or YouTube (obviously more intellectual pursuits)I've tried to spend less time on here recently and get out into the world, but the heat has forced me into air conditioned comfort, so today it will be housework, another mindless way of passing time.

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  26. First, love the new look of your blog. Which you probably changed weeks ago and this is the first I'm noticing it.

    Secondly, I love this post. Hilarious, will true at the same time! It was when I was, excuse me "kicking ass" with some random player and all of a sudden I see random two letter combinations are now counting as words. Really? Not in any book I read! Not in any course I teach!

    So, I don't play Words with Friends (way too gimmicky as you said) and I don't play Scrabble...although, I would with you. (Bellezza.mjs)

    xo

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  27. A fellow Scrabble player!!!!

    I've been playing Scrabble since...ooh...an embarrassingly long time. And I'm pretty good, too, though I would certainly never be able to compete in a professional tournament. (Those scores are ridiculous!)

    Okay, now I have to find Scrabble online. I'm playing Words with Friends, and I suspect a couple of my friends use the cheat site. I've checked it out, in between games only, and while I think it's a great tool, it's not for me. In much the same way that spell check has enabled my spelling abilities to falter, and calculators have completely obliterated the feeble math skills I once learned, I'm afraid cheating on word games would ultimately lead to my demise in that area. And you're right...what's the point in playing if you have the answers right in front of you? It's not a test, for crying out loud, it's a game, it's fun.

    If you'd like to play me, or just become facebook friends, please send me an email or leave a message on my blog site. I'd love to play you!

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  28. So there is cheating in Words With Friends??? I kinda wondered because I had beaten a couple of people rather easily a few times, then suddenly they were laying bingos left and right and playing words I'd never heard of.

    I'm with you. What is the point?

    I also get impatient waiting for people to play sometimes. OK, most of the time.

    The ads do get annoying. And of course, far be it from me to pay the two dollars and ninety-nine cents to get the ad-free version.

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  29. You've got some spam comments, mostly from Anonymous. I got rid of Anonymous for just that reason. I love Scrabble, too, but I don't play the games on line. And now I have a good reason not to! :-)

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