Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I cheat...do you?

This game called 'Words with Friends' seems to have swept the facebook and smart phone wielding world. I hated scrabble growing up. I'm not sure if it was because I watched my parents play it so well as a child or if it was because all I saw when I looked at a random grouping of words was cat, dog, and other infantile 3 letter words.  Like drawing, scrabble playing wasn't a skill I inherited, so when people started asking me to play with them I was a little leery. Leery as in, I had no expectations of being able to form a single word, and resisted even trying to play for months. I'm not sure why I gave in, but I think it was because my friend and her sister were competing over who could use the most made up sounding words and still get them to play.  I said "whatever" and gave it a try.  Now it turns out that I am not quite as bad at scrabble as I thought I was, but I'm pretty awful...so I cheat.

I admit it. I cheat by using scrabble finder to help me figure out words when I'm stumped or when I've forgotten the word that I was intending to use because I have to wait days for my opponent to make a move. Please don't stop playing with me, because I am actually getting...better.  I am seeing more words and figuring out how to make them fit for maximum pointage.  Me cheating certainly didn't guarantee that I wouldn't lose to my friend by around 150 points (I did).  It means that now I know words like umiaq, and can use it in the future.  I don't care if I win--I don't think I have yet and no one is keeping track (are you Juli?!) but I do like the idea that I am actually learning something out of this experience.

So when is cheating okay? Obviously in a fun game, when my friends joke about it, it's alright. In the real world; at your job, school etc, not so okay.  I am shockingly learning how to play scrabble better, but am still not up for playing the real game with real people unless I can cheat off my husband.  I'm glad, however I play the game, that I learning a better appreciation for something that I thought that I had written off years ago.

This all begs the question--do you cheat at games when no on is looking? Do you think it kills the point of the scrabble if someone is looking up words, even if they don't care if you win? Opinions?


  1. When I first started playing wwf, I looked up words, too. It was mostly in situations like you describe, when I can't think of a word other than maybe "lo," lol. I did always make a point to find out what it means, at least. That probably goes back to when I was growing up. My dad or grandparents would always make us define the word, or at least use it in a sentance, as a "pre-challenge" step. I don't look stuff up much anymore, just once and awhile. This is mostly because I am lazy, though. ;P

    And as for the job or other life scenarios you mentioned, remember: education does not mean that you'll know all of the answers. It just means you know how to find them. :)

  2. excellent comment Sarah--I love that last part. Being a historian isn't about knowing everything in history, but about how to find it and know how to look at it critically.
    If you don't mind my occasional cheating, we should play :)

  3. As long as you can define it. ;) Kidding.
    Sounds good. I'd like to.

  4. When it comes to "real" board games, I very rarely, if ever, cheat. Mainly because it takes away from the rush I get if I really win. I guess it's not even a moral thing for me really. It's just not as much fun to me if I win from cheating.

    But, if it's something I feel like I totally suck at and have no chance at... well that would definitely increase the possibility... but usually if it's just something on the internet.

  5. I just started playing Words with Friends with Heather. I loooooove Scrabble-type games.


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