The Hazards of Scrabble

Is Scrabble truly safe for our children?  Is Scrabble safe for adult consumption?  The crossword board game that allows 2 to 4 users at one time has been around since 1938.  Requiring keen senses in vocabulary, spelling, anagramming, and strategy, the word game is praised for its educational and entertainment properties.  Often used as a bonding experience of friends and family, and a tool for teaching school age children proper spelling.  However, no one is talking about the dangers involved in the seemingly innocent game.  

When it comes to board game attacks and accidents, the first game to come to everyone’s mind is the money grabbing, cut-throat, greed driven game of Monopoly.  Known to destroy families and the closest of friendships, it’s easy for Monopoly to take centre stage in board game dangers.  Reality is, most board games have at one time or another been the result of major family dramatics.  Scrabble may have an easy to follow rule book, and the dictionary as a reference, yet it is not exempt from board game incidents.  

As an example:  User ‘A’ is winning a match of Scrabble by a significant score.  User ‘B’ is reaching a point of frustration with his inevitable loss.  When it becomes user ‘B’s turn, he sees an opportunity to catch up.  With one word, user ‘B’ scores a whopping 56 points.  User ‘A’ evaluates the word and questions it’s validity.  User ‘B’ uses the word in a sentence “I ate some chocolate fudge.”  Unfortunately for user ‘B’ he has spelled the word F-U-J, fuj.  After the necessary dictionary reference, and loss of turn, user ‘B’ reacts with the infinitesimally dangerous board flip.  The results of which are too graphic for this website.

Besides the common risks that are involved with many board games, Scrabble could also result in loss of life.  Scrabble related fatalities are no laughing matter, and despite there never being one on record there is still the risk.  Let’s rewind our previous example and witness an alternative outcome: User ‘A’ is close to guaranteeing victory, when his turn comes he scans the board for an opportunity.  In a moment of clarity user ‘A’ puts his anagram skills to their highest potential and navigates himself a perfect 7 letter word.  Placing the bingo on the board he jumps out of his chair in a show of victory, unfortunately knocking his head on the chandelier above him. He falls to the ground, concussed.  At the same time, the already frustrated user ‘B’ slams his fists down on the table, showing his displeasure.  The force of his fist slam resulting in the collapse of 2 table legs.  The Scrabble board slips off the table, and a 4-point letter ‘V’ falls directly into the open, unconscious mouth of user ‘A’.  User ’B’, although upset with user ‘A’ does not wish death upon his co-user, and jumps on his stomach in an attempt to dislodge the 4-point letter ‘V’ from user ‘A’ ‘s throat.  User ‘A’ is awoken and startled by user ‘B’ ‘s actions and jumps to his feet.  Scared for his life, user ‘A’ runs out the door, outside where he is quickly picked up by a pterodactyl.  Despite the pterodactyl going to the washroom outside the door the users could not hear him because the ‘P’ is silent.

Although the above examples are very real risks involved in the crossword board game, they are not the most imminent danger involved.  No, this article was necessary for me to write on a personal level, as my life has been a continuous battle with this same word game jeopardy.  Of course I am speaking about Scrabble addiction.  Much like any addiction, a Scrabble addiction is a life-long battle of compulsive engagement.  You may believe that there would be no negative consequences resulting from an addiction to a board game, but I’d say… well okay maybe there’s not.  Although, there is the risk of complete Scrabble alienation.  Along with having a Scrabble addiction, and a strong natural talent comes with it social dysfunctions.  What I mean is, nobody wants to play with me anymore…  I have a problem, and it’s not my fault, but because I am so dominant, the result is my friends and family refuse to play the word game with me.  And that’s sad.  Sometimes you need to give a Scrabble addict their fix.  A happy alternative for addicts looking for relief would be online versions, unfortunately they are swarming with cheaters who like to use Google to solve their anagrams for them.

You, or someone you may know might be a Scrabble addict if they show any of these symptoms:

  • They have every 2-letter word in the dictionary memorized.  There is no other use for this in life other than for Scrabble strategy.
  • They own more than 3 boards and at minimum the last two revisions of the Official Scrabble Dictionary.
  • They have, or have contemplated joining a Scrabble league.  These leagues are mostly a bunch of old ladies getting together to gossip and trade recipes.  There’s no good reason for a normal person to join unless they have an issue.
  • Their own mother won’t play Scrabble with them anymore.
  • They openly admit to having a Scrabble addiction.
  • They are aware of the Scrabble world record and the current world champion. (830 points by Michael Cresta in ‘006, and Brett Smitheram of the U.K.)

So, before you open up that 15×15 grid board, and the 100 letter tiles, be aware of the risks involved.  It may become a matter of life or death.  Also, be aware of Scrabble addicts and help them out.  Much like recovering meth addicts that need a safe place to go, with professional assistance, a Scrabble addict needs a safe place to play and an understanding friend.

Thanks Scrabble fans, and remember the word Jedi may not be an official word but it is used commonly enough that it should generally be accepted on the word board.


6 Comments Add yours

  1. TeacherofYA says:

    I totally feel you. And that blank tile…so many possibilities and so much potential in one tile. Too much responsibility for that little guy.
    If it makes you feel better, no one wants to play with me either.


  2. From: The Perils of Scrabble. I knew it was time to quit that troublesome and dark game the moment I was about to taste sweet victory and beat my word-addict opponent for the very first time. He glared at me with eyes of pure hatred and evil, whipped his tray around to reveal to me his seven tiles which spelled

    Y O U blank D I E

    I ran away as fast as I could, not looking back, thinking… he had that letter Y all the time! And man was I lucky to escape with my life! I banged my fists on the prison cell door until the warder came and put me in solitary. Nah. Screw that sick boardgame. From now on, it’s Snakes and Ladders for me.


  3. alyssathebookgeek says:

    I love this.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Monopoly was actually on ban in this house for 3 years. I only recently lifted the ban and purchased a new board. I will openly admit that there have been a few close calls with Scrabble 😉


  5. Know all the 2’s, none of my friends will play, etc, so yep, I’m an addict. Love this article. Plus JEDI is now allowed (in Ireland anyway)


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