The popular word game Scrabble, invented by Alfred Mosher Butts, was a game created to test the knowledge of its players about words within their language. In the article written by Jonathan Kay, “Scrabble is a Lousy Game”, he explains what this game truly is about in its highest point. He explains that this game is not truly about the integrity of words, but how they are strung along within this 15 by 15 board created by Alfred Mosher Butts. We wanted to answer why and how this game about words is not about words, and how professional players perceive the words they are using.
Being such a popular game, many articles have popped up discussing what Scrabble is truly about in its most professional form of play. However, this article specifically discusses the integrity of this game. Many people love words because of what they represent and their meanings, not necessarily for the spelling of it. Due to this Jonathan Kay finds this game to lousy, as the name of his article presents. He believes that common people are drawn to this simply because of its usage in words, but do not realize that it is actually about their ability to memorize the words they have used on a daily basis and their ability to access more points and words with spatial reasoning. He then goes on to name “actual” word games such as Codenames, to bash Scrabble’s integrity as a word game.
To conclude, competitive Scrabble players’ focus more on the words and the values more than the meanings; also, Scrabble players’ have more of a hard time explaining what those words mean. Scrabble players care more about getting the most points with the most buyable words, and they don’t really have to focus on the meanings of words because that not apart of the game really. Scrabble is mostly about memorization, but the players are not really learning the meanings, they just want the points.
Kay, Jonathan. Review. “Scrabble is a Lousy Game.” The Wall Street Journal, 6-7 Oct. 2018, p. C. 5.
Gupta, P. (2013). Understanding ‘game-ness’ within the SCRABBLE® family of English word games. Paper presented at the 645-655. Retrieved from http://nclive.org/cgi-bin/nclsm?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/1549957279?accountid=9935
This article is about how the “game-ness” of Scrabble can really affect the mind of a person or you are just playing the game for fun. Spending a lot of time on the game shows a lot of psychological references in the game where you are supposed to memorize the words and there are 8 different varieties of games that give an explanation of to the readers why they are there. All these sorts of varieties of Scrabble games are able to give readers and their family a chance to see how the game affects others minds. Scrabble is able to help people memorize words yet don’t understand the meaning of the word. People are just able to spell the word, however, they are not able to explain what the word means to the other person.
Van Hees, Sophia, et al. “Testing the Limits of Skill Transfer for Scrabble Experts in
Behavior and Brain.” Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 2016. Science In Context, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A469599594/SCIC?u=nclive&sid=SCIC&xid=e8022e01. Accessed 28 Nov. 2018.
In this article, researchers study the brains of Scrabble Experts and how the brain works in its most scientific form. In previous studies, they have learned that Scrabble experts present great performance when given the lexical decision task (LDT), which presents why they are so great at Scrabble. In this study, they research their ability in symbol decision task (SDT). They had noticed that Scrabble Experts used their posterior visual and temporal-parietal regions in the brain, and not simply just those necessary for linguistics.
Hebert, Karen. “Scrabble Players Don’t Know the Meaning of Words.” Student BMJ, vol. 11, 2003. ProQuest, http://nclive.org/cgi-bin/nclsm?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/1786262581?accountid=9935
Scrabble players can memorize words easily, but cannot use them in a sentence. Most people that play scrabble do not know the meaning of the words they play, but they can’t remember the word itself. Scrabble players that play competitively do this because they need to remember legal words in order to get points and win. Competitive players only do slightly better in vocabulary tests on Scrabble words than most casual players, so that means that means casual players can know just the same amount as a professional. To scrabble players, the letter and the words are worth more than the meanings.
(Made in conjuction with Kang Sou Vang and Touzong Christopher Xiong)