So I was minding my own business, make the rounds: Yahoo! email – nothing; HKUST email – nothing; Facebook – hmmm, what do we have here? An invite to play some game called Scrabulous? Sounds like scrabble. Sounds like fabulous!
Might be some sort of new computer age trick to steal my money and rape my pride, or just another one of the plethora of worthless Facebook applications that people keep passing on: why would I ever want to send someone a message saying that I’m ‘licking’ them, anyway? And what kind of crazy person would get a kick out of that!?! (Seriously though, leave your name and contact info below.) But alas, like all the other junk that finds its way through, I take a moment to investigate.
In essence, Scrabulous is your standard game of scrabble, except some of the rules have been left out. Sometimes when you lay down a new word that runs adjacent to another, the program is not smart enough to see if you have made a word with all the connecting letters; and words can only be played in right to left order, but I’ve heard rumors to the effect that Scrabble also abides by the whole left to right English language grammar rule.
Apart from playing Scrabble online, this game allows you to play against anyone on your friends list, with as many as 4 people playing the same game. The other bonus, is you can play as many games simultaneously as you want.
Here’s where it gets cooler: the game doesn’t have to take place all at one time. It’s like when old rich guys who had libraries in their homes used to play chess against far away friends. With Scrabulous, however, you don’t have to tag the leg of your most reliable pigeon with your next move, and then wait 3 weeks for some bird to fly over with your friends next move. Whenever you stop in, you can make your move and then head off about your life. And all that freedom is precisely what keeps me sitting down at my computer playing Scrabulous.
Since it is played online, you have all the basic internet tools at your fingertips to help maximize your target move. No longer shall we be limited in our Scrabble playing by one’s lack of vocabulary knowledge. Pull up Google, and find a favorite anagram utility online to help put those pesky letters together for you. Maximize every move, and see if you can’t outwit your opponents ability to cheat in exactly the same way.
While some might argue that this further delineates the current lexicon, I find that it has the opposite effect. Anytime the internet gives me a word I don’t know, I have to go and look it up to find out what in the world I’m playing. Then – as a matter of principle – I have to try and use that word at least three times in the next day or so. Think about it: five games at a time, with seven new words in the average game! Vocabulary will spread faster than ass-pennies!