Friday, November 16

Scrabulous


I recently got into Scrabulous the online Scrabble game. I’m into it in a big way and at the moment I’m having to pull myself away from 13 games and the refresh button.

I started playing Scrabulous mainly because I had wanted to play against Tom from Derby, but he declined or ignored my invitation and so my first games were against Zoe and Sarah from Hitchin. I’m now over 10 games in and have 13 active games waiting to be finished some of them with random strangers.

Scrabulous is a lot of fun, it has a social element in that you can type messages to your opponent and have a little bit of a natter whilst playing. It’s also really easy going, it’s turned based so and you can walk away, make some tea and the game will be waiting there when you get back, and its self refereeing so you don’t have to worry about whether that word is a proper-noun or not, the game will tell you (although Rob Burman snuck dawen past me earlier, and that doesn’t exists in any dictionary).
fast players, beginners, people who don’t cheat, well hung men and big breasted ladies.

However, as much as I love this game, I have to admit that it worries me too. Putting aside the cheating, the addiction and the procrastination, there is something quite sinister going on beneath the surface of Scrabulous… something perverse. It seems that for many players, Scrabulous is a foreplay for cybersex.

Since finding that I just can’t get enough Scrabble action from my friends I decided to branch out and use Scrabulous’ game-matching system to play some strangers. You get to search for available games in three speed categories, fast, moderate and slow and then the games are displayed with the players profile picture too. But here’s where it gets odd, some people put messages requesting that only certain types of players reply, fast players, beginners, people who don’t cheat, well hung men and big breasted ladies.
harmless fun,  in the world of Scrabble, probably the least sexy game ever invented.

Who replies to these requests I just don’t know, and what the appeal of a scrabble playing sex deviant is I couldn’t tell you, but they’re out there and not just a few either.

I was playing with a lady from Canada on Sunday and the game was a lot of fun, we chatted about our jobs and travelling and normal light hearted stuff, and when I had won the game I sent her a message to let her know that if she ever wanted a rematch I would happily oblige. To which she replied “You want to play again? What sort of play? And how old are you?” Still think that she was talking about Scrabulous I replied that we should play with the same dictionary and play a regular game. She told me that ‘that’ wasn’t the type of play she was thinking about and put it frankly… ‘do you want to cyber?’… I have to admit, I was half tempted, but the pull of the other 7 games I had going at the time was much greater.

I guess it’s harmless fun, a bit of role-play between two consenting adults, it just seems odd that it would be going on in the world of Scrabble, probably the least sexy game ever invented.

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