25 August 2009

My Struggle With Scrabble

Once upon a time, my family and friends viewed me as a Scrabble ace. It was mainly because I have always been a good speller and developed a large vocabulary at an early age. As I've gotten older, however, I am routinely beaten at Scrabble and similar word games by my sister and my best friend. The problem is that I don't have much of a strategic mind.

Here's an example. I'm playing Lexulous with my sister; it is a Scrabble clone you can play via email (formerly known as Scrabbulous). I have the choice between laying down the words "patois" or "path". The simpler word would earn me five more points, but I know my sister would be impressed if I trotted out "patois". I resisted the urge to flaunt my word knowledge and played "path". It put me 20 points ahead of my sister, but I still wish I had played "patois".

See? I play Scrabble because I love getting a chance to use the words I know, while my sister tallies points in her head and actually remembers what color the triple-word-score square is. That's why I usually lose.

19 August 2009

Why Do People Hate Facebook Games?

Recently I wrote a post on my main blog about why I'm not on Facebook. Basically, I feel like Facebook is on the last 5 of its 15 minutes of fame and I'm ready for everyone to move on to something else. However, there is one aspect of Facebook that is tempting to me -- the games. Every time I hear about something like Farmville or Lexulous, my resolve to stay off of Facebook weakens. I love the idea of playing a game online with my friends that isn't a shoot-'em-up or a World of Warcraft clone. The only problem is that I know I wouldn't be able to get anyone to paly with me.

My real-life friends barely check their email accounts, so I know that games are out of the question. The big surprise is that many of my online friends hate the Facebook games. I've read many comments on Twitter and blog posts from these friends saying that they will un-follow or block people who send them requests to play. I don't get it.

For me, being online has always been about expressing myself and having fun. Lately, though, the internet seems to be all about networking if you are over the age of 12. Does tending a virtual farm really make you look bad to a future employer?