So, apparently the makers of Scrabble have decided they’re going to change the rules and allow proper nouns into the game, the major historic feature of the game that made it so challenging and enjoyable.
On the one hand I’m happy about this as it does indeed, as Mattel says, open up a “new dimension” for the game, but at the same time, I’m disheartened because this seems to merely cheapen the game and remove the challenge of the game.
The whole point of Scrabble, from my point of view as a big fan of the game, is to not only to pit your level of knowledge against someone else, but also your ability to make patterns and see connections (or vice versa for the nitpickers) between the jumble of tiles both on the board and in your rack to find the most beneficial move for you to make. Also if you’re more into it than others you may also try and make an educated guess on your opponents next possible move based on the opportunities you can see on the board.
Opening the game up to proper nouns which includes “place names, people’s names and company names” you really remove a lot of the challenge. Granted you need to know about a company like “OchZiff” that could get you a rake of points, but from a nerdy point of view, seeing “Alan” as a move taking up a triple word score is really disheartening for those of us who play the game to challenge our brains and our intellects.
Not only that, but a major part of the game is being able to say “no, that’s bullshit, that’s not even a word” pointing to the void in the dictionary where “Zyxylon” doesn’t appear and forcing your opponent to actually play the game. Now, all one has to do is go to google and say “look! there’s a guy who’s name is “Jalopyzinga”, 83 points for me!” Ok, fair enough, there may be stricter rules applied than that, but there is, as of yet, no specific rules forthcoming.
To make matters worse, Mattel are claiming they will be selling original rules Scrabble as well as the new rules version. “Money-making scheme” anyone? It’s not possible to play old-style and new-style with the one board and set of tiles…? I call shenanigans on that, right here.
What do you think about it?