Join 3,512 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


LADYGAGA for 14 points
April 6, 2010 7:35 AM   Subscribe

Mattel are reportedly planning to change the rules of Scrabble to allow proper nouns, to bring in younger players and "introduce an element of pop culture into the game".
posted by acb (146 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Get off my lawn Scrabble board!
posted by WalterMitty at 7:36 AM on April 6, 2010 [7 favorites]


I hope they are going to advertise this through the medium of rap music. You know, to really get through to the youth.
posted by ob at 7:37 AM on April 6, 2010 [7 favorites]


I'm with Mitty on this. If you try this in my Scrabble game I'll cut you.

-Qwijibo
posted by Mister_A at 7:38 AM on April 6, 2010 [24 favorites]


HERETICS
posted by The Whelk at 7:38 AM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Whats the difference between a board with old rules and a board with new rules?
This just marketing posing as news, right?
posted by vacapinta at 7:38 AM on April 6, 2010 [5 favorites]


My petition worked! Finally an end to centuries of oppression without bloodshed that could have been achieved in no other way.
posted by DU at 7:39 AM on April 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


As if this will have any effect whatsoever on the game and how it's actually played.

It's not like that blasted 'Official Scrabble Dictionary' ever made any inroads in my house, where it's still completely forbidden.
posted by koeselitz at 7:39 AM on April 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


I heard this on NPR this morning and yelled ‘I STRONGLY DISAPPROVE’. They can’t make me play by their (new) rules.
posted by dinty_moore at 7:39 AM on April 6, 2010


Yo dawg, I heard you like scrabble, so I put XZIBIT on your Scrabble board, so you can exhibit XZIBIT while you triple-word-score for 72 points.
posted by explosion at 7:40 AM on April 6, 2010 [79 favorites]


Apparently they are also changing the font on the tiles to Optima?
posted by scrowdid at 7:41 AM on April 6, 2010


DO NOT WANT.
21 111 4111

posted by The White Hat at 7:41 AM on April 6, 2010 [10 favorites]


explosion wins.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 7:42 AM on April 6, 2010


The problem is that if The Official Rules that come with the board say that proper nouns are OK, and even give an example of playing, say, "BIEBER" or something, players will get used to that, and soon there'll be a generation who expect to be able to play their favourite rappers' and sports teams' names, and regard anyone playing by the old rules to be a fusty old bore.
posted by acb at 7:42 AM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


This just marketing posing as news, right?

Or vice versa. Dumbing it down for the mass market, in any event. Next we'll have texting speak, OMG!
posted by IndigoJones at 7:42 AM on April 6, 2010


So now you're going to have to play Scrabble with an internet-connected computer next to you so you can look up how to properly spell the name of this weeks "hot" reality star or one-hit pop artist?
posted by JaredSeth at 7:42 AM on April 6, 2010


Apparently they are also changing the font on the tiles to Optima?

So this is really another troublesome aspect of the failed 2008 McCain campaign?
posted by shakespeherian at 7:42 AM on April 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Apparently they are also changing the font on the tiles to Optima?

I heard it's Comic Sans on luminous yellow.
posted by acb at 7:43 AM on April 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


Its like some cruel april fools joke : (

So "Pro-V" is going to be allowed now, is it?
posted by memebake at 7:43 AM on April 6, 2010 [6 favorites]


LADYGAGA for 14 points

They've finally implemented phase one of my request, but I still need them to introduce the dollar sign so I can legally play Ke$ha.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:43 AM on April 6, 2010 [7 favorites]


      O
      P
      R
U M A
      H
posted by steef at 7:43 AM on April 6, 2010 [40 favorites]


SCRABOMINATION
posted by Shepherd at 7:44 AM on April 6, 2010 [4 favorites]


Step two is pop stars purposefully naming themselves things like QQKXZ to maximize their Scrabble-worth.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:46 AM on April 6, 2010 [9 favorites]


LADYGAGA for 14 points

"WHAT IS THIS?!"

"it's ...it's the new rules Dad, it's right here in the-"

He kicks over the game board.

"THERE ARE NO PROPER NOUNS IN MY HOUSE. ISN'T THAT RIGHT, MOTHER?"

"Yes, Father."

"NOW YOU, SON, GO TO YOUR ROOM AND THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU DID!"
posted by The Whelk at 7:46 AM on April 6, 2010 [11 favorites]


This is an abomination.
posted by empath at 7:48 AM on April 6, 2010


Actually, I might be down for a 'proper noun' variant, as long as they had separate capital and lower case letters.
posted by empath at 7:49 AM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


International chess rulemakers FIDE are to change the rules of chess, to bring in younger players and "introduce an element of excitement into the game".

The changes will include the ability to "upgrade" pawns to equip them with weapons and more "hit points". "We felt that the weakness of the pawns meant that younger players struggled to identify with them" said FIDE spokesman Professor Hugo Z. Hackenbush. "My children often ask why the pawns end up being captured so quickly and why they can't 'pop a cap in da horsey's ass'". Other possible changes include being able to exchange knights for Harley Davidsons and a new piece called a "gangsta".

Traditionalists have been appalled by this development. "This fundamentally undermines the entire game of chess" frothed Anatoly Fischarov, current Ruritanian champion and International Grandmaster. "And besides, we've only just managed to get past the whole en passant controversy of the 15th century!"

FIDE's move follows the updating of many much loved classics that have not been without problems. Last year's update of Cluedo to include extraordinary rendition and waterboarding was heavily criticised, and the new "Lindsay Lohan" edition of Trivial Pursuit has not sold as many copies as had been hoped.
posted by Electric Dragon at 7:49 AM on April 6, 2010 [30 favorites]


Not on my watch.
posted by sugarfish at 7:49 AM on April 6, 2010


THEARTISTFORMERLYKNOWNASPRINCE for 102.
posted by brain_drain at 7:50 AM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


I used to play dirty Scrabble online with a friend. The rules were you could create words as either swears OR you had to use a real word in a dirty sentence.

Best lunch hour ever.
posted by stormpooper at 7:50 AM on April 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Oh, sure. And next you'll be telling me the hotels in Monopoly will all be replaced with time-share condos and players will have to sit through a 60-minute sales pitch video before they can buy one.
posted by briank at 7:51 AM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


This just marketing posing as news, right?

Yes. Official rules don't really change. Scrabble is jumping the shark and going into versions. Remember how Trivial Pursuit started branching out and suddenly you'd get a lot of weird questions starting with "Which beloved soft drink..." or other nonsense? I always assumed they'd taken product placement dollars to put what amounted to ads in with their trivia questions. The big deal isn't whether there's a SPESHUL PEPSI VERSHUN which attracts other people to the game but whether the dictionary changes. And it doesn't look like the dictionary is changing. So I am not worried.

much
posted by jessamyn at 7:51 AM on April 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


Mattel said there would be no hard and fast rule over whether a proper noun was correct or not.

Sounds like a cheap marketing gimmick to attract "the kids" who can use names of popular beat combos instead of real words. Clearly you'd never be able to play a serious game with the rules - if there's "no hard and fast rule over whether a proper noun [is] correct or not", that destroys the whole foundation of the game as you can put down whatever letter combination you want and claim it's a real proper noun ("no, really, I have an African friend called Uqzkblm").
posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:54 AM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


My cousins used to play a 'multiple choice' version of Trivial Pursuit. But my cousins were kind of dumb so there were terrible at making up the other answers.

For example:

Q: This French ruler was exiled to Elba.

Was it:

A) Napolean Bonaparte (pronounced incorrectly)
B) Wayne Gretsky
C) Neil Peart
posted by empath at 7:56 AM on April 6, 2010 [15 favorites]


This is a pretty weird miscalculation on the part of Mattel. People (especially young people) want to play games because they're fun, not because they're easy. The injunction against proper nouns is one of the rules in Scrabble that makes the game fun---it's what prevents any old word from being valid. The problem with proper names is that anyone can make them, at any time---when, mid-game, I dub the popcorn bowl "zuxjuk," that's just as valid a name as calling the borough of New York City on the tip of Long Island "Brooklyn."

A game of Scrabble where any move is valid might be an interesting design experiment, but I doubt it'd be a lot of fun. It'd be like playing a game of poker where there are no rules about which card combinations are more valuable than others.

What this rule-change really means is that players will get about five minutes into a game before deciding that they need a new standard for deciding which words are valid, other than one player's impressionistic claim that "it's a name." Does it have a Wikipedia article? Does it have N hits on Google? etc. If it's real (and not just a late April Fools), I'm interested to see how it plays out.
posted by aparrish at 7:57 AM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ludacris.
posted by psylosyren at 7:57 AM on April 6, 2010 [17 favorites]


They're gonna hafta call it something else, because this will no longer be Scrabble.

FIE UPON THEE, MATTEL!
posted by EatTheWeak at 7:58 AM on April 6, 2010


Oh, so making shit up is okay now then?
posted by Artw at 7:58 AM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


The problem with proper names is that anyone can make them, at any time---when, mid-game, I dub the popcorn bowl "zuxjuk," that's just as valid a name as calling the borough of New York City on the tip of Long Island "Brooklyn."

I now am imagining a game of new-school scrabble between Umberto Eco and Jorge Luis Borges.
posted by empath at 7:58 AM on April 6, 2010 [20 favorites]


Proper nouns will always be verboten at any Scrabble game in my house.
posted by ged at 8:00 AM on April 6, 2010


My cousins used to play a 'multiple choice' version of Trivial Pursuit. But my cousins were kind of dumb so there were terrible at making up the other answers.

I tried playing Balderdash with some kids at a youth group one time and it quickly became apparent I was the only one who'd ever looked in a dictionary.

WORD: fabrefaction
DEFINITION: It's like a kind of a fish that has wings
posted by shakespeherian at 8:01 AM on April 6, 2010 [5 favorites]


Yes, it was lack of proper nouns that was keeping the kids at bay. Problem solved!
posted by chairface at 8:01 AM on April 6, 2010


This is lame. In my house we change the rules to board games all the time.

For example, Candyland is hopelessly boring because the game is just pure randomness. So we invented High Stakes Candyland. In High Stakes Candyland, you draw two cards. One card you can use yourself to advance your piece along the board in the traditional fashion. But the other card is the "suppressor" card, which you play against another player to move them backwards. It is entirely up to the player which of the two cards drawn should be "played in suppression." Through the introduction of the suppressor card, High Stakes Candyland adds an element of strategy and ruthlessness that is lacking in games for kids under 5.

It doesn't stop with Candyland. We modified Battleship into Battleship Gambit!, in which players have the ability to move their ships forward or backward over the grid during the course of the game.

We have a number of different variants of Monopoly as well. My favorite serves as a good pedagogical tool. In Zero Sum Game, one player plays only as the banker, who collects 10% of all transactions in the game He does not roll dice or buy property. Because the bank is its own player, taxes are payed to free parking instead of into the bank (that would be unfair), but the banker enforces all interest payments on mortgaged properties, so when a player goes bankrupt, his mortgaged properties actually revert to the bank, who has the option of paying the bankrupting player cash in the amount of what is owed or turning over the properties. What makes the banker interesting is in later stages of the game, when other players have fallen out, the banker can auction properties off to the remaining players based on highest roll, open outcry, or two-stage silent auction.

Another variant is Heist. Here, Free Parking is considered to be the geographic location of the bank on the board. A player who lands on free parking on a double roll (e.g. two 5's, two 4's etc) is considered to be robbing the bank. In honor of the great film Heat, the player then has thirty seconds to roll double sixes and successfully steal $2500. They can roll as many times as they want in 30 seconds, but if they don't roll double sixes by the time "the heat comes around the corner," then they get arrested, fined $500 and thrown in jail for 3 turns. This provides some excitement in an otherwise slow game.
posted by Pastabagel at 8:02 AM on April 6, 2010 [133 favorites]


I pretty sure this won't affect the OWL and "real" scrabble rules for serious players and tournaments. Also, according to the link, Hasbro is still selling a version with the original rules. I liken this to those novelty versions like "Scrabble: Pirates of the Carribean"

Hasbro tried to pull this sort of thing a number of years ago when they took out all the "offensive" words from the OSPD because someone complained that "Jew" was defined as a verb (so it could take -s, -ed, -ing, etc). However, the OWL still includes them. I suspect this will be similar.
posted by jpdoane at 8:04 AM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


      O
      P
      R
U M A
      H


Awesome
posted by delmoi at 8:04 AM on April 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


If pop-cultural names are allowed, that could necessitate a forking of the entire sets. For example, there are many more Zs in pop-cultural proper nouns (like XZIBIT, GORILLAZ, NDUBZ, &c.), so the solitary Z worth 10 points will no longer cut it; it'll have to be a compromise between the S (worth 1 point, common as crabgrass) and the Z. So Scrabble Yoof Edition sets could contain four or so Zs worth about 5 points each. Similarly with the X.
posted by acb at 8:04 AM on April 6, 2010


I'm surprised at how dogmatically many of you seem to abide by the official Scrabble rules.
posted by Houyhnhnm at 8:05 AM on April 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Maybe this is one of those things where they announce they are changing the rules, everyone goes batshitinsane, and then Mattel are all, "shit, we didn't know you guys loved the old rules so much, we won' t change them," all the while enjoying a shit-ton of free press.
posted by chunking express at 8:07 AM on April 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


So...is "kwyjibo" legal now, or not?
posted by anthom at 8:07 AM on April 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm surprised at how dogmatically many of you seem to abide by the official Scrabble rules.

Hey, Van Gogh had to learn to paint formally before he could really cut loose with the impressionistic stuff, you know?
posted by Artw at 8:07 AM on April 6, 2010


TEEN 1: WHAT UP DOGG DOG U HEAR THAT SCRABBLE IS FINALLY ALLOWING PROPER NOUNS
TEEN 2: **GLANCES UP WHILE INJECTING SELF WITH HEROIN** ARHHHUUUUUUUUUUUUNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
TEEN 1: SKATEBOARD PIZZA MYSPACE
posted by Damn That Television at 8:08 AM on April 6, 2010 [64 favorites]


I'm impressed Pastabagel. We just modify board games by adding alcohol.
posted by JoanArkham at 8:08 AM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Aw hell no.
posted by greekphilosophy at 8:08 AM on April 6, 2010


This will be an unmitigated disaster. I don't even play Scrabble and I know this will go over poorly.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:10 AM on April 6, 2010


Next time we play Yahtzee I'm bringing d20s.
posted by Artw at 8:10 AM on April 6, 2010 [5 favorites]


I'm surprised at how dogmatically many of you seem to abide by the official Scrabble rules.

This isn't 'Nam.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:11 AM on April 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


NO ABBREVIATIONS!
posted by The Whelk at 8:12 AM on April 6, 2010


G       T
L       Y
A       SAMSUNG
XEROX   O     E
O   ENRON     N
S             E
MICROSOFT     ROCKWELL
I             A
T             L
HALLIBURTON   E
K      A      L
L      Y      E
INTEL  T      L
N      H      CNN
EBAY   E      T
       O      R
       N      IBM
              C

posted by loquacious at 8:12 AM on April 6, 2010 [26 favorites]


While they're changing the rules, why don't they allow you to form words vertically by stacking the letters on top of one another thereby creating 3D Scrabble?

OK, I think I'll go easy on the new ideas for a while.
posted by digsrus at 8:13 AM on April 6, 2010


This is sort of like "New Coke"
posted by HuronBob at 8:14 AM on April 6, 2010


I think Scrabble "jumped the shark" when they allowed 'qi' and 'za' to become words. Totally changed the game. You can sneak a z and a q in almost anywhere now, rarely ever worried you might be stuck with one at the end.

I hear it is common in China to hear "Let's go out for some za and qi!"


what?
posted by ORthey at 8:15 AM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


And it doesn't look like the dictionary is changing.

But they already did change it; the swear words from the second and third editions of the Official Scrabble Dictionary have been removed from the fourth edition although they remain in the official word list. Putting them back would probably attract more kids (especially in elementary school) than this nonsense.

I guess next they will change Monopoly to allow putting $500 in the middle for anyone who lands on "free parking".
posted by TedW at 8:15 AM on April 6, 2010


XX
ZACKFROMSAVEDBYTHEBELL
IN
BALLOONBOY
ID
TUROK
posted by naju at 8:16 AM on April 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


THEARTISTFORMERLYKNOWNASPRINCE for 102.

Challenging that one. I believe he spelled it like this. That's one character, and I don't believe it's in the set.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 8:16 AM on April 6, 2010


While they're changing the rules, why don't they allow you to form words vertically by stacking the letters on top of one another thereby creating 3D Scrabble?

Congratulations, you just invented Upwords.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 8:16 AM on April 6, 2010 [6 favorites]


While they're changing the rules, why don't they allow you to form words vertically by stacking the letters on top of one another thereby creating 3D Scrabble?

It's been done.
posted by not that girl at 8:16 AM on April 6, 2010


One thing I always wanted to do was use the word "Scrabble" in a game of Scrabble, but I've never had the right letters, always P's instead of B's.
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:16 AM on April 6, 2010


Guess Who: Celebrity Edition

TEEN 1: OK, I'll start. Are you a popular star with several high-profile drug problems who dated a European DJ?

TEEN 2: No.

TEEN 1: **Flips over only like 3 faces, lmao**
posted by Damn That Television at 8:17 AM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


I always thought bluffing was the best part of Scrabble after reaching a certain age. Drop down a combination you're pretty sure isn't a word and see if you get challenged. These days, with all the electronic versions, you can't do that. (My current fave, Words with Friends on the iPhone, won't let you play what it doesn't consider a word. Grrr.)
posted by chavenet at 8:18 AM on April 6, 2010


The best would be playing against an Old and they put down the perfectly respectable word MERCHANT for a bingo. Then you are all like NATALIEMERCHANT and get a tripple letter and a double word. Then maybe they put JAWS and your all like JAWSIII.
posted by I Foody at 8:19 AM on April 6, 2010 [9 favorites]


This is a pretty weird miscalculation on the part of Mattel. People (especially young people) want to play games because they're fun, not because they're easy.

Honestly Scrabble in general is not high on the "fun factor." Most of the keys to actually being good at the game (memorizing word lists, rack management, placement strategy, etc.) are relatively boring and unintuitive, and the randomness of the tile draws are not enough to give a novice player an advantage over a better play. Most light or family board games have a game mechanic that ensures that the best player will not always win, whether through randomness or some other method. I don't think there's a way to make Scrabble more accessible to kids without completely changing the game mechanics, and there are plenty of word games out there that are more kid-friendly anyway.
posted by burnmp3s at 8:19 AM on April 6, 2010


Battleship: Celebrity Edition! Each copy of the game comes with 10 free hours of the Red Hot Chili Peppers! They aren't up to much these days so we've included Anthony Kiedis's cell phone number in each box, just call him up and he'll come over and play a few games with you, maybe you guys can go get fourthmeal afterward or something, I don't know. You kids still like these crazy dudes, right? What do you mean, who are they? There rude dudes who put socks on their penuses!!!! They like to rock and party and Oh god all of their good albums came out when your parents were still in like high school, holey shit where has my you th gone
posted by Damn That Television at 8:21 AM on April 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Coming up next, none of that boring old proper spelling nonsense... and besides it's prejudiced against dyslexics
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:22 AM on April 6, 2010


I think Scrabble "jumped the shark" when they allowed 'qi' and 'za' to become words.

I don't have a problem with qi. It's real-ass word, as in "Kepp the letters straight, for fuck's sake; you're messing up the qi." But, come on, za? That's clearly a contraction, apostrophe in front, and therefore not legal.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:23 AM on April 6, 2010


Kepp is totally legal. Quiet, you.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:24 AM on April 6, 2010


No worse than "za" and "qi."
posted by rikschell at 8:24 AM on April 6, 2010


Dammit, I knew I'd forget some other version of monopoly. We also have Rise! Sang the Proletariat (players owing full sets of the Blues or Greens on the most expensive street can incite rioting (through a $400 payment) the players landing on the oranges or reds owned by a third player ("i.e. the middle class"), burning down a max of two of the houses on each property in the set.

In Combinations, a new element is introduced into the game - texting. Players can text other players at any time to form ad hoc business combinations to develop properties, temporarily pool properties in a group, or pool cash in an attempt to thwart other players.

Combinations are texted with names "Comb Butterfly - my marv gard + ur ventor & atlantic split 60-40 YES NO?" and responses are clearly marked "YES BUTTERFLY, or NO BUTTERFLY" counterproposals are numbered, e.g. "BUTTERFLY 2". The combinations are secret. But whenever a player lands on go to jail, their phone is surrendered with all sent texts showing, so that everyone can see what business deals that person has (thereby triggering a flurry of other dealmaking in response to the now publicly known deals. Combinations works best with more than 5 players.

If people are interested, I have a whole notebook of these at home.
posted by Pastabagel at 8:26 AM on April 6, 2010 [33 favorites]


N2 O1.

(the N is 2 points in the italian version, heh.)
posted by _dario at 8:27 AM on April 6, 2010


Err, sorry. Somewhere out there I just made a Tyson marketing executive go "YES, WE HAVE THE BRAND IDENTITY OF MICROSOFT AND GENERAL ELECTRIC!"
posted by loquacious at 8:28 AM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Metaphorical Mouse Trap, where the trap is the system, and the mouse is the common man, but also the common man is the heteronormative patriarchy, and the system is actually a machine, which is also a lie.
posted by Damn That Television at 8:29 AM on April 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


HEY TEENS, LET'S ALL GATHER AROUND THE KITCHEN TABLE AND PLAY A ROUSING GAME OF CONNECT ONE
posted by Damn That Television at 8:30 AM on April 6, 2010 [5 favorites]


But they already did change it

I do not diplomatically recognize the fourth edition.
posted by jessamyn at 8:33 AM on April 6, 2010 [6 favorites]


Back in college we had a version of Jenga with dares written on each block. The rule was, you had to take a shot, then do the dare. But since like half of the dares were just "TWO GIRLS HAVE TO MAKE OUT, NOW" it led to the invention of an even-more-radical departure from Jenga: Jenga block fights. Long story short that's why I have bad vision in my left eye
posted by Damn That Television at 8:35 AM on April 6, 2010 [5 favorites]


Fuck scrabble. I need to get a monopoly board, and get some games going according to Pastabagel's house rules...
posted by kalimac at 8:38 AM on April 6, 2010


I've always wanted to make some sort of epic weeks-spanning Epic Metagame out of Monopoly, in which each property represents a different game (checkers, Parcheesi, Stratego, Jenga, etc) and players strategically buy the ones that they're the best at. Then whenever another player lands on one of your games, the two of you play that game to determine in which direction the money changes hands.

This would be an obtusely long game, of course, but I really like the idea.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:39 AM on April 6, 2010 [18 favorites]


> My current fave, Words with Friends on the iPhone, won't let you play what it doesn't consider a word. Grrr.

Yeah but you can keep submitting tile arrangements until the software decides your words are legal, a crutch I lean on when I feel like I've held up the game for too long but am too braindead to make a worthwhile play.

It lacks the naughty sense of having gotten away with something, but it beats Scrabble's requirement of being right or losing your turn. Yeah, sure, I could just look up optimal word combinations online, but that doesn't feel as sporting.
posted by ardgedee at 8:41 AM on April 6, 2010


You know what's insufferable and not even remotely fun? Playing Scrabble against someone who plays competitively. The entire point of competitive Scrabble is to memorize the Scrabble dictionary, which is just a ridiculous hodgepodge of stuff like the aforementioned "za" which I have never heard anyone in real life or fiction mention outside of the context of Scrabble. Getting roundly defeated in other games at least affords you the benefit of being wowed by the other person's prowess. But as someone who actually enjoys WORDS, watching someone hedging away 30 points by sticking one letter in some oppurtune places is just depressing and banal.

Also can someone explain to me why Scrabble treats each letter of the alphabet as if it's also a word? (ie- "dee" is supposedly the word meaning the letter d). Does anyone actually do this in writing?
posted by haveanicesummer at 8:41 AM on April 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


I want to play games with Pastabagel.
posted by bastionofsanity at 8:42 AM on April 6, 2010


As frustrating as Words with Friends is sometimes with its weird word list (get a dictionary-maker to sponsor you, stat!), I really hope it doesn't pick up this innovation. Do not want.
posted by immlass at 8:43 AM on April 6, 2010


Don't worry. If Mattel follows their recent history in action figure collecting, they'll probably only sell their new Scrabble as a limited edition available only through Mattycollector.com and only make a few copies so there's an incredible rush at 12:01 PM EST the day of release and the site crashes while you try to place the order, and then if you do get an order in, Digital River just fucks it all up anyway.
posted by MegoSteve at 8:44 AM on April 6, 2010


BLASPHEMY!!!!
posted by bunnycup at 8:44 AM on April 6, 2010


Also can someone explain to me why Scrabble treats each letter of the alphabet as if it's also a word? (ie- "dee" is supposedly the word meaning the letter d). Does anyone actually do this in writing?

It's done for at least some letters. People refer to a "Tee", as in "T-shirt."

There's also a proverb admonishing one to look after their urinations and lines. I'm not sure I get it though.
posted by explosion at 8:44 AM on April 6, 2010


I once played a extremely heated and increasingly crazed game of Dot Com Boom Monopoly, in which crazy amounts of money were thrown around, but in the morning no one could remember the rules and what we could remember didn't make sense.
posted by Artw at 8:46 AM on April 6, 2010


i dont know why everyone's complaining about za

just last week i was hanging with my bros and i was like 'lets grab some za and then play some board games with letters and celebrities in them' and they were all 'fuckin sweet idea man'

TRUE STORIES FROM LIFE
posted by Copronymus at 8:48 AM on April 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Then whenever another player lands on one of your games, the two of you play that game to determine in which direction the money changes hands.

There was a Magic card called "Shaherazad" that forced both players to set aside all the cards in play, and play a new game with the remaining cards. The loser lost half of their remaining life, then you went back to the original game. It was possible to play a Shaherazad game within a game within a game.

Needless to say, it was banned in competitive play pretty quickly.
posted by empath at 8:49 AM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


While I fully expected to become an eccentric old person defined by a past era, I didn't see it comming in the form of sitting in my house with my husband drinking, smoking, and playing Old Rules Scrabble.
posted by rainbaby at 8:49 AM on April 6, 2010 [4 favorites]


Proper-Nouns-ONLY Scrabble might be an interesting variant, especially if it used an alphastatistically-sound letterset, like acb alluded to above. The documentary Word Wars, if I remember correctly, has a great look at the process Alfred Butts used to calculate letter distribution by hand.

But just "allowing" people to play proper nouns in a regular game is a bizarre idea. The purists will go nuts, and yet news of the change will probably never even blip the radar of the nebulous demographic Mattel's apparently seeking. Who the hell pays attention to board game variant releases but the people who are already aficionados?

I find it hilarious that this seems to be actual honest-to-Butts QUIXOTRY on Mattel's part.
posted by unregistered_animagus at 8:50 AM on April 6, 2010


Err, sorry. Somewhere out there I just made a Tyson marketing executive go "YES, WE HAVE THE BRAND IDENTITY OF MICROSOFT AND GENERAL ELECTRIC!"
posted by loquacious


You should be directing your apology to Mr. Mike Tyson, who became briefly excited about a rekindling of his fame, then went back to eating someone's children and preparing for his cameo in The Hangover 2: The Bellagio Strikes Back.
posted by haveanicesummer at 8:51 AM on April 6, 2010


Pastabagel's game variants definitely improve upon the original versions, but when there are literally thousands of other boardgames available in this modern age that are infinitely more fun than games like Monopoly straight out of the box, why put in the effort to tinker with kids games?
posted by Thoughtcrime at 8:51 AM on April 6, 2010


HEY TEENS, LET'S ALL GATHER AROUND THE KITCHEN TABLE AND PLAY A ROUSING GAME OF CONNECT ONE
posted by Damn That Television at 11:30 AM on April 6


Actually, the connect 4 variant is called Top Quark and you play it by adding yellow stickers (pieces of post-its) to both sides of three red and three black chips. These chips lose their color and become top quarks. The black top quarks are played by the players who gets black chips, and same for red. If you get four-in a row before a top quark is played, you win as per the standard rules. Once a top quark is played, then four in a row of red or black colors still wins, but only if the other player cannot make four in a row of top quarks by placing his remaining quarks all at once.
posted by Pastabagel at 8:52 AM on April 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


STOP SAYING QUARKS SO MUCH.

Sorry 'bout the shouting.
posted by Mister_A at 8:56 AM on April 6, 2010


Actually, the connect 4 variant is called Top Quark and you play it by adding yellow stickers (pieces of post-its) to both sides of three red and three black chips. These chips lose their color and become top quarks. The black top quarks are played by the players who gets black chips, and same for red. If you get four-in a row before a top quark is played, you win as per the standard rules. Once a top quark is played, then four in a row of red or black colors still wins, but only if the other player cannot make four in a row of top quarks by placing his remaining quarks all at once.
posted by Pastabagel at 11:52 AM on April 6


That's really clever. Now let me introduce you to my variation of the wedgie, called the super wedgie, which is like a normal wedgie except I'm yelling
posted by Damn That Television at 8:57 AM on April 6, 2010 [16 favorites]


There have always been people living on the fringes of society. Sad, sick, broken people for whom unnatural practices such as 'proper nouns are OK' and 'when I play play a blank I get to exchange it with the actual letter tile and get the letter score for it and so that is a triple Z for 30 points. Is too! Yeah huh! Mom!!' seem acceptable. Even natural.

The fact that Mattel is codifying this into some sort of unholy version of the rules is troubling but not all that surprising. It turns out people were right when they tried to ban video games, rock music, and torn dungarees. We should have listened. Society has fallen.
posted by dirtdirt at 8:59 AM on April 6, 2010


You know what's insufferable and not even remotely fun? Playing Scrabble against someone who plays competitively.

The same could be said for people who are competitive playing against people who argue that "that's not a word" or who don't seem to care about point values.

I feel your pain, I really hate playing gin rummy with people who count cards. That said, those people hate playing with ME because to their mind I am ignoring data that they feel is essential for someone who is playing to win.

Scrabble is not really a word game. It's a highly rule-governed strategy game with a lot of constraints that happens to use words of the English [and other] languages as one set of constraints. There are levels of play, different types of players, and many of them find playing with people at the other levels unfun. I won't lie, I play several hundred games of Scrabble a year. I play almost every night. But to me, playing someone who is a good match is the most important part. Setting up the restrictions so that it's fun for everyone is pretty important.

I think the reason a lot of people like Scrabble is that it's easy to jigger the rules quickly and easily to have a Family Version of the game that you can, for example, play with little kids and then use the same tiles and board and play cutthroat against other people at your own level. This just seems like Mattel doing a formal version of what Scrabble players have been doing for years.

My assessment of the scrabble tiers

- Family Scrabble - you can give kids extra letters [or double points] which is often a good handicap when they're small and then you can play against them like normal, word learning is the goal
- Hangout Scrabble - no challenges, no fancy words [i.e. "don't pull that two-letter XI bullshit around here fella"] probably no dictionary
- Word Nerd Scrabble - lots of two letter words [OSPD, OSW, SOWPODS?], define the words you play but don't know
- Tournament - a zillion rules, people play seven letter words they don't know, challenge challenge challenge

Within the first three you can decide to do open dictionary or not. We also have a few family rules like "you can quit if the game isn't fun anymore" [usually if someone is losing by more than 150 points] and declared Moral Victories for really awesome words that get very few points. There's always Bananagrams for people who can't hack the pressure.

Would like to pimp MeFites who play at isc.ro again as well.
posted by jessamyn at 9:01 AM on April 6, 2010 [10 favorites]


Sure, it may make the game unmanageable, but at least it opens the door to Battle Scrabble, in which adjacent tiles can attack each other, using their point values to both hit points, as well as how much damage they do.

I think this will go much better than the Battle Monopoly games I played as a kid.
posted by ignignokt at 9:02 AM on April 6, 2010


Pastabagel's game variants definitely improve upon the original versions, but when there are literally thousands of other boardgames available in this modern age that are infinitely more fun than games like Monopoly straight out of the box, why put in the effort to tinker with kids games?
posted by Thoughtcrime at 11:51 AM on April 6


Because that's the fun is in discovering those rule changes that unlock all kinds of other possibilities. What makes these games ripe for variations is that the game is structurally very open ended, its the rules that are confining. Monopoly is a map with money, and the conceit that you can buy pieces of the map to extract money from other players. Candyland is a map with cards showing parts of the map. The rules say those cards represent motion of the players on that map, but that doesn't have to be the case. Battleship is a grid and boats and pegs. Connect four is checkers vertically and with the hidden third player gravity. Etc. The point is to change the rules without changing the structure to show how its the rules and almost entirely the rules that determine the play, not the board or the pieces.
posted by Pastabagel at 9:02 AM on April 6, 2010 [4 favorites]


Pastabagel: If people are interested, I have a whole notebook of these at home.
That's a joke, right?

I expect a full transcription of said notebook up on Metafilter Projects by EOD.
posted by hincandenza at 9:03 AM on April 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Guess Who: Celebrity Edition

I met a guy who played Guess Who? with subjective questions, like this:

"Does your person own a cocker spaniel?"
"Hmm... no. Does your person give unwanted parenting advice to strangers?"
"Oh, definitely! ... Does your person know any old labor songs?"
"None at all. Say you were in prison, would you dream about your person? Or push the thought away?"

Mind you, we were playing with the usual cartoony faces.
posted by aws17576 at 9:07 AM on April 6, 2010 [21 favorites]


you'd get a lot of weird questions starting with "Which beloved soft drink..." or other nonsense?

Around here that is known as the dumbed-down version. We usually play with a mixed deck: Cards from the original, 20th anniversary, and Genus 5 editions. The Genus 5 cards are easy to identify (What B-word for the study of plants comes from the Greek for "herb"?)

Growing up with Scrabble rules meant that as an adult I consider the overuse of proper nouns by the New York Times crossword somehow cheating. I hate it when I get "European Town " crossed with "African River."
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:09 AM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


I always thought there should be bonus points for forming words within existing crosses, by filling in blank tiles between words. It requires a certain eye to see multiple words that way. Ironically, this often turns out to be the best way to lose a game, since these crosses are often low-scoring.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:17 AM on April 6, 2010


*image of scrooge mcduck, except a redesign of scrooge mcduck where he's a teen with a baseball cap and a giant clock necklace and a knife (teens love knives) swimming through his vault, except instead of millions of golden coins, its scrabble tiles, and they are spelling out proper nouns, all of them, and the nouns are proper as fuck, like Bethany or Rolling Stone Magazine (teens love the rock press) or Atari or Alta Vista, or even the names of their favorite members of the House of Representatives, and also it's virtual reality, and Smashmouth is there*

Hasbro executive: GREAT IDEA
posted by Damn That Television at 9:28 AM on April 6, 2010 [6 favorites]


This is so fucking stupid.

Everyone will just put down all their tiles every turn. Which means the winner is the person with the best luck at picking tiles.

Oooooh… fun!
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:32 AM on April 6, 2010


That's really clever. Now let me introduce you to my variation of the wedgie, called the super wedgie, which is like a normal wedgie except I'm yelling
posted by Damn That Television at 11:57 AM on April 6


Don't make me break out High Stakes Top Quark.
posted by Pastabagel at 9:36 AM on April 6, 2010


Ironically, this often turns out to be the best way to lose a game, since these crosses are often low-scoring.

They can be good defensive plays, though- blocking Triple Word scores and so forth.
posted by empath at 9:40 AM on April 6, 2010


And yet haven't they UTTERLY FAILED to capitalize on the overwhelming popularity of their own game online?

Pull your heads out of your asses, Mattel. Worst marketing ever.
posted by peep at 9:41 AM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


My reaction to this proves I have become my father.

I'm with Peep; can we get an online version of this that doesn't suck and allows me to play with friends who aren't in the US?
posted by arcticseal at 9:56 AM on April 6, 2010


I now am imagining a game of new-school scrabble between Umberto Eco and Jorge Luis Borges.

"The universe (which others call the Scrabble board) is composed of an indefinite, perhaps infinite series of orthogonal spaces. God, or as some might call him, the player, has at his disposal an unknown quantity of letters, which he draws from a bag of unknown size. Life (also called, The Game) is a series of plays, where God puts letters on the board. Some of these letters spell words that stand in for a category of things, like 'tree' or 'animals which belong to the emperor'. Others of these letters spell words that refer to specific things, like 'King George II' or 'Paris, France' or 'that mole on my upper lip, which I call Zyxiolis.'"

"Of for Christ sake Jorge, take the triple word score if it means that much to you."
posted by empath at 10:04 AM on April 6, 2010 [11 favorites]


arcticseal: I haven't tried it, but Lexulous, formerly Scrabulous, looks just like Scrabble and says it's open to the whole world.
posted by JDHarper at 10:07 AM on April 6, 2010


I met a guy who played Guess Who? with subjective questions

The game Real People is essentially exactly this. There are photos of people with information about them on the back. Occupation, Hobbies, nicknames, pets, favorite foods, color, etc. You have to correctly guess which person goes with the limited subset of info you're given based only on the picture. It essentially boils down to being good at stereotyping people.

My wife wins every time
posted by jpdoane at 10:28 AM on April 6, 2010


In high school, I once got caught playing strip Scrabble with a few good friends in an otherwise empty school building. Empty except, apparently, for the guard. Who I guess didn't appreciate language as much as we did.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:32 AM on April 6, 2010


I would like the scrabble dictionary to get rid of "za" (for some reason I hate this word more than all the other 2 letter words) and replace it with "internet" a word that's lost it's proper noun-ness and thus should be playable in scrabble.
posted by vespabelle at 10:53 AM on April 6, 2010


Fuck, I want to live near Pastabagel and play games with him.

Also, regarding the scrabble rules: What a Duketastrophe!
posted by Saxon Kane at 10:59 AM on April 6, 2010


shoulda previewed! I see I am not alone in my hatred of za!
posted by vespabelle at 11:07 AM on April 6, 2010


There are precious few popular commercial games (I want to call them "cultural" but that seems wrong... "pop cultural" is probably a better term) that are really interesting to knowledgeable players. So many of them have some major flaw that makes them annoying or just plain-out uninteresting.

Monopoly ends about an hour before it's really over, when one player gets enough color groups that the game becomes just going around the board over and over until someone's cash runs out. It relies a lot on luck in the setup, if you don't get good trading fodder in the first few trips around the board you're screwed, as is everyone if one player manages to acquire a complete color group by luck. A lot of players further sabotage the game with the loathsome jackpot-on-Free Parking rule and by abandoning property auctions.

Risk also has the ends-long-before-it-ends problem. Clue/Cluedo is really a fairly elementary game. Don't get me started about Milton Bradley's Life.

Of them all, Scrabble is the one with the best play. I guess Mattel had a look at it and thought to themselves: Hm, it doesn't seem to be ruined yet. Gnomes, get to work!

(I say this despite knowing a good number of bizarrely-spelled Lovecraft monsters and deities, which would give me an advantage in a game of proper noun Scrabble.)
posted by JHarris at 11:14 AM on April 6, 2010


vespabelle-
I just wrote a paper where I used the word internet like, 45 times or something. I had to teach Word that it is not a proper noun, because I am compulsive about not having red squigglies on my page.
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 11:14 AM on April 6, 2010


Keep Proper Nouns Out Of Scrabble, the Facebook group.
posted by acb at 11:18 AM on April 6, 2010


Growing up with Scrabble rules meant that as an adult I consider the overuse of proper nouns by the New York Times crossword somehow cheating. I hate it when I get "European Town " crossed with "African River."

I consider it cheating too, but for a different reason. If you have two proper noun words crossed and you don't know the answer to the clues, it makes it very difficult to get that last letter where the two cross without looking up one or the other of them.
posted by JHarris at 11:20 AM on April 6, 2010


Finally, a way to combine my fondness for Scrabble with my fondness for washed-up rappers.

ZA is an anagram of AZ--he was down with Nas for a minute.
posted by box at 11:32 AM on April 6, 2010


Elelctric.
posted by cashman at 11:42 AM on April 6, 2010


I'm glad they're finally revising the game so it doesn't really so much on words.

Hopefully they'll introduce the no scoring system next so that every game is a tie and everyone is automatically a winner.
posted by Scott H at 11:48 AM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Pastabagel: You may enjoy our poker variant called Capitalism: Standard five-card draw. After the initial deal, each player is dealt a sixth card face-up, which cannot be used as part of the hand. Whoever has the highest card showing gets to look at his cards and then declare one card (i.e., 4s, Kings, whatever he wants.) to be wild. Oh, and the player with the lowest card cannot fold.
posted by nickmark at 11:52 AM on April 6, 2010


jessamyn: The same could be said for people who are competitive playing against people who argue that "that's not a word" or who don't seem to care about point values.

I feel your pain, I really hate playing gin rummy with people who count cards. That said, those people hate playing with ME because to their mind I am ignoring data that they feel is essential for someone who is playing to win.


In our game circle, we tend to have frequent problems with this. We haven't laid out exactly what is and isn't fair game (in fact I sense it would be difficult to do this), and the result is one of us sometimes gets offended when another uses a tactic that we consider beyond the pale.

Examples:
Carcassonne is a game where laying out randomly-drawn tiles in order to complete cities and roads piecemeal out of many tiles is important. I hit upon the strategy of placing tiles in such a way as to make it difficult or impossible for an opponent to get the last piece in to complete a city. The other player declared this wasn't a fair tactic. Eventually the rancor over things like this caused it to become difficult for us to play that game.

In Settlers of Catan, during the initial settlement placement, sometimes a player will place one in a way that means an earlier player can't get his previously-placed settlement to the build spot or harbor he was relying upon. We seem to have gotten over this generally because it's difficult to avoid sometimes, the board being fairly cramped, but there is also when a player is too aggressive with the Robber in the early game. It's possible to cripple a player by putting the Robber on one of his important hexes early on, so we have a house rule against that. But one of our players seems to chafe under that rule.

In Catan: The Card Game, it is possible to spam deck searches and draw out all the yellow attack cards, especially spies (which are unblockable in the main game), and use them to wage a war of harassment. It is a game in which most of the interaction between players is relatively indirect, so to resort to straight-out attacks like that is a little jarring.
posted by JHarris at 11:53 AM on April 6, 2010


I would be fine with a version that allowed ONLY proper nouns to be played, since that's all I ever seem to be able to spell with my tiles.

"For many of you, this will mean scoring a lot less. For me, much, much more!"
posted by Eideteker at 12:02 PM on April 6, 2010


There was a Magic card called "Shaherazad" that forced both players to set aside all the cards in play, and play a new game with the remaining cards. The loser lost half of their remaining life, then you went back to the original game. It was possible to play a Shaherazad game within a game within a game.

Needless to say, it was banned in competitive play pretty quickly.


You forgot the best part: putting Shahrazad in a deck with two or three copies of Fork. “So, here’s your choice: you can either play eight subgames with me and not get to play anyone else in tonight’s tournament, or you can concede.”

Half of the fun of Magic was coming up with annoying things like this: card combinations that, when you played them, amounted to an instant win for you. Sure, it pissed your opponent off, but it was usually taken well because both you and he knew that he’d have done the same thing to you had he drawn the crucial card from his deck one turn earlier. (I fondly recall a deck I had that was able to produce an unlimited number of 1/1 Squirrel tokens on turn 4 or so if everything came up right.)
posted by spitefulcrow at 12:32 PM on April 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Not in my house.
posted by zzazazz at 12:40 PM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


posted by zzazazz:
"Not in my house."

...darn. Your name is worth 52 points, at LEAST!
posted by not_on_display at 12:50 PM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Carcassonne is a game where laying out randomly-drawn tiles in order to complete cities and roads piecemeal out of many tiles is important. I hit upon the strategy of placing tiles in such a way as to make it difficult or impossible for an opponent to get the last piece in to complete a city. The other player declared this wasn't a fair tactic. Eventually the rancor over things like this caused it to become difficult for us to play that game.

People bitched about that? Huh. Seems a pretty integral strategy to me. Carcassonne is supposed to be nicer in some respects (i.e., technically the other players are supposed to point out good spots for your tile), but taking out city blocking seems to overextend the German boardgame ethos of no direct competition.

I feel your pain, I really hate playing gin rummy with people who count cards. That said, those people hate playing with ME because to their mind I am ignoring data that they feel is essential for someone who is playing to win.

Back at math camp, everybody and I mean everybody played bridge. I enjoyed it but I never bothered learning all the crazy conventions. I knew the basics of honor card points and a few basic basic conventions, but that was about it. One time I was playing, I partnered with a much more experienced and incredibly high strung player (against my better judgment). We got a really good hand between us but then I made a what really was a bad mistake (didn't draw trumps before playing an off-suit Ace). I got an incredibly loud "[kmz], YOU FUCKING IDIOT!!"

I didn't play with that guy again.
posted by kmz at 12:56 PM on April 6, 2010


(I fondly recall a deck I had that was able to produce an unlimited number of 1/1 Squirrel tokens on turn 4 or so if everything came up right.)

SquirrelCraft! Actually possible on turn 3 with a mana elf helping out!

Magic's kind of a strange duck in that it feels most balanced when playing competitive tournament decks, at least to me. When playing casually, it's so hard to strike a balance between the temptation to add a cool card to your deck, and not wanting to utterly smash your friend repeatedly.

Sealed Deck or Limited is a good compromise, but even then, Magic is sufficiently skill intensive that I feel like an NBA Pro dunking on a high-school basketball player when I play against some people. It's really really tough to recapture the casual innocence without feeling like I'm patronizing them.
posted by explosion at 1:30 PM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


This rules change, should it happen, won't affect American Scrabble. Hasbro owns the US rights, Mattel owns the rights overseas.

Married to a competitive Scrabble player... I know WAY too many random Scrabble things.
posted by booksherpa at 2:09 PM on April 6, 2010


"Mattel, which owns the rights to Scrabble outside of North America, is introducing a game this summer called Scrabble Trickster. The game will include cards that allow players to spell words backward, use proper nouns, and steal letters from opponents, among other nontraditional moves. The game will not be available in North America, where rival toy company Hasbro owns Scrabble. Hasbro, I'm told, has no plans for a similar variation."
posted by Lucinda at 4:01 PM on April 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


R00LZ? We don't need no steenkin' rules!

I've always preferred plausibility over the dictionary. If the word looks like it should be a word, it's allowed -- so kwyjibo is a perfectly cromulent choice but zxrt would not be accepted.
posted by phliar at 4:23 PM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


that rule zxrts.
posted by not_on_display at 4:49 PM on April 6, 2010


This is as much an affront to decency as Vatican II. WE ARE ALL MEL GIBSON NOW!

(Also, we are all worth 64 points now!)
posted by aaronetc at 7:12 PM on April 6, 2010


Hasn't anyone mentioned Speed Scrabble??! It's where you throw all the tiles on the table, face down. Then when the timer starts, everyone starts picking tiles. There are no turns-- everyone starts picking tiles, and making their own little trees of letters on their placemat. Each person has their own connected tree of letters. Everything goes. Slang, proper nouns, everything. The whole point is make up funny and creative words. When all the tiles are gone, we go around the table and each person can say what they came up with, or they can say I didn't really get anything this time. It's all good. No points, no keeping score. Just laughing, drinking, and seeing what dirty words people come up with when they're under pressure. Speed Scrabble. REGISTERED TRADEMARK.
posted by water bear at 8:42 PM on April 6, 2010


I used to play a variant of Scrabble we never really named so I'll just call it... oh, how about RAGNAROK SCRABBLE

You could put down any word you want, real or unreal, but if someone challenged you, you had to come up with an awesome definition of the word. And the person who challenged you would try to come up with an even awesomer definition. Who ever had the awesomest definition got the points.

Yes, it did result in people putting down all their tiles to spell crazy words. But there were CRAZY WORDS with AWESOME DEFINITIONS come on guys
posted by speicus at 8:45 PM on April 6, 2010


water bear, I've played speed scrabble with a slight variation. Which I will now share, because a) why the hell not, and b) it got pulses positively racing at our nerdy dinner party.

-- all the pieces are face down on a table top.
-- each person takes seven (I think?) tiles. Word-tree making commences (on the table top, not a scrabble board.)
-- when one person has used all their letters, they shout "spit!" or some similar exclamation, and everyone takes seven more tiles.
-- the game finishes when there are no more free tiles.
-- count up points, standard scrabble rules style: points for words made, minus points of letter not used.

It's a lot simpler and more fast-paced than scrabble scrabble, and if you fall behind you can catch up relatively easily. Awesome.
posted by the cat's pyjamas at 7:56 PM on April 7, 2010


Can't find video but once again Jerry Garcia was a pioneer.
posted by raider at 1:44 PM on April 10, 2010


« Older 8-Bit Doctor Horrible...  |  Playing Chess with Kubrick.... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments