Ever the late adopter I have recently got into Words with Friends. And when I say got into I mean TOTALLY f’in addicted.
I play with two friends in London, one in Cambridge, one in Bristol, one in LA and two in Sydney. So at various times of the day and night I get the delightful ping and rush to my iPAD to see what dastardly words my global community of scrabble heads have come up with now.
Who’s the best? Well the one in Cambridge obviously. It is the town of the clever people dummy. She doesn’t use lots of fancy words but seems to always be able to land on the triple word score whenever my back is turned. The next best is one of my London friends. He comes up with the most obscure words. I sometimes wonder if he just sits there trying out all the possible combinations until WWFs eventually gives in and says yes.
This game, our first, he’s come up with Feria (Latin for “free day” was a day on which people, especially slaves, were not obliged to work) and then in a fiendish move added an e at the end to create Feriae (which is just another way of spelling Feria.) He then used the e for the word cate (n.Archaic A choice or dainty food; a delicacy) landing the C (four points) on a triple letter.
He is a writer and editor and has a brain almost the size of a planet, but when my friend at work Jarred told me about an app you can get which gives you all the possible answers, I began to wonder. Jarred said he wished he’d never got into that app because it takes all the fun out of the game. He doesn’t play any more.
I think it is good to play with a range of people. You can learn from those better than you as they reveal the tricks of the scrabble trade and you learn all the two letter words like mu (twelfth letter of the Greek alphabet), di (meaning two, twice or double), er (an ancient people inhabiting parts of what are now northern Armenia, northeast Turkey, southern Georgia, and northwest Azerbaijan) and qi (or chi the circulating life energy that in Chinese philosophy is thought to be inherent in all things). And you never know when these words might come in handy in general life.
You can tussle with those on a par with you as you race for the end of the game with barely more than a few points between you. And you can beat those worse than you – always an ego boost. That being said, I’m worse or on a par with all the people I play with so I’m missing out on the ego boost. I’ll just have to walk past more constructions sites.
So I’m learning new words and exercising my brain, but no doubt I’m addicted to a computer game. Is that going to be a bad thing?