Summer Special: Words with Friends

words with friends

Okay, I admit it, I am a huge fan of Words with Friends. If Ann Coulter can reveal to an entire nation that hating soccer is America’s favorite pastime, I figure I can let the cat out of the bag to a few hundred people about this 15 by 15 virtual playing field.

I have loved this game ever since I had to play it on a computer with non HD resolution, so clearly I am an old timer. I have found the game to be an excellent way to stay in touch with my brother and to exercise sibling rivalry in what is a socially acceptable outlet. Should anyone wonder why all of a sudden I raise my fist in the air and shout “Yes!”–it’s because I laid some virtual tiles that gave me a huge score because I used all seven and/or I was able to use the orange TW or red DW squares on the board to score around 100 points in one sweep. If I nod my head vigorously, that means I have won with quite a margin, a few hundred points.

I don’t like close games, the fun is to pitch a shutout or make the game a blowout. Yes, Words with Friends is an excellent sport.

I am an honest person so by playing Words with Friends I have learned what it must be like to compete against bicyclists or baseball players who juice. That’s right, Words with Friends has been a character-building exercise, how to honestly lose, as I have pedaled and swung intellectually. At the beginning of my matches with my brother, who is intelligent and a business major, I saw on my board hundreds of miles away from him words glow I had never used in my own life and did not think he could possess even in a passive vocabulary.

But there it was, a seven-letter volley as if one the Williams sisters had just kicked my ass on the tennis court. I couldn’t pull a McEnroe–frankly I am surprised the Zynga people have not yet invented an upgrade to their app for another fine commercial opportunity. I like to play in silence, not even here the tap-tap or swoosh as words are built and sent, but I am sure there are individuals who would pay extra for positive reinforcement phrases that are drawn out, such as, “Good job!” or the quick, “You Suck!” admonition. It would be even better if the fine people at Zynga, whom I don’t know, could build into the app a voice function audible at the other player’s device with a control built in that assured he or she had to listen to cerebral trash talk.

Words with Friends has been an amazing teaching tool in so many ways. I have learned not to leave my smartphone in a hot car. It’s impossible to move the tiles when you find your phone in this condition. I am not sure if you have to be on fire, I mean really on fire, to be able to lay out a word after leaving your phone for a few hours in the car when it’s 100 plus degrees outside.

Whether this element of discovery fits into physics, biology, or meteorology, when it’s humid outside, moving the title is very difficult, as the screen reminds me of a beer bottle on a humid day. Or try during a long air-conditioned meeting to move the tiles. Even the hot-blooded among us will need to resort to sticking at least one finger in the mouth and sucking on it to be able to perform.

Typing in Words with Friends on Google I got 299 million results, and I was sad to see that the second entry was Words with Friends Cheat – Words with Friends Helper. I was surprised that only about 5 million and one hundred thousand plus people like Words with Friends on Facebook, but I suppose that can be explained away by aficionados having their finger(s) on the tiles all the time. For the record, I use only one finger to play, and I’d be curious to hear about the habits and techniques and form of others. Elbows in our out? Pull toward the body or push away–backhand or forehand? How often do you hydrate?  What do you eat while playing? Does the level of play go down if you continue to do it on the toilet? I await your stories, dear readers.

Googling I am also learning, on the first page still, from Amazon.com: Words With Friends: Appstore for Android, “What’s new in version 7.1.4.” and “We made some updates to this version: – Squashed bugs related to push notifications!” With appreciation I am told, “Thanks for playing Words with Friends!”

Strangely, on what is only my second time of looking up Words with Friends on a search engine all these years, the act of searching electronically for this phrase is so much less exciting than going on Safari usually is. I don’t know why, and I think someone needs to write a dissertation on this topic and also generate a number of other topics. It wouldn’t surprise me if Words with Friends has already found its way into many a thesis or dissertation. No, I am not going on an electronic search. Time is valuable and it could be spent playing Words with Friends. It is bad enough I have taken time away from the game to write about this pastime I have a feeling even Ann Coulter would have to write about as a lover, not a fighter. But I take that back. One can be a lover and a fighter, especially on the court of Words with Friends.

The time is ripe for colleges to award experiential learning credit for a portfolio of having played and scored in Words with Friends, a pursuit that embodies the ideal held up by the ancient Greeks of mind and body.

And why hasn’t Zynga held a press conference with Arne Duncan about employee tuition benefits so we can start poopooing scholarships and going to college? I admit that just now the only thought on my mind is really whether or not “poopoo” is an acceptable word for Words with Friends and my main regret is that I cannot envision a seven-letter variant of the word.

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