Scrambling To Scrabble

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This week is going to be a bit of a spin-off from the theme of small game groups, as I take a look at a large Dickinson community game event. On Sunday I played a few games of Scrabble in the Rector Science building courtesy of Alpha Phi Omega (facebook event link is here). The tournament was a fundraiser for for the Employment Skills Center, a local adult literacy and education non-profit organization which has been open less days per week due to Pennsylvania budget issues. Each participant gave five to ten dollars as a donation entry fee to the tournament.

In terms of the actual games, the tournament included teams of two to four people as well as individual one-person teams co-mingling, meaning teams played teams, individuals played individuals, and individuals, and even individuals played teams. I played as a team with my friend Tristan (See Diplomacy post) representing Team A2 (Both our last names start with a). Our opponents for our two games in the tournament were Liam and Oshi (not sure If that is the correct spelling of his name) who represented team Phoenix.


Rules of the Tournament:

  • No phone dictionaries
  • 3 minute turns
  • Each game is officiated by a scorekeeper
  • Overall winner decided by the total highest sum score from two games. (i.e. you get say 150 points in one game, and 150 points in the other game, 300 points is your final result in the tournament.)


So we won the first game with 119 points and some great banking off of small words such as “Qi” (22 points at least). There’s a pretty article on cheat-y words that bank on “Q” here. We won the second game with 170 words by also using words like “Zinc” and “Zee” in addition to “Qi”. Ultimately, we did not win the tournament with only 289 points, since the first, second and third teams got 478, 390, and 296 points each. Darn!

In Conclusion:

Public community games feel very different compared to small group games. I did not really start much of a conversation with my opponents, nor did I feel I would meet with them again. In small group games with friends, I think talking took up more than half the time compared to actually playing games. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes those casual games with new people are fantastic experiences. The game connects you to the other person(s) who you might not have talked to otherwise, like an icebreaker. Which is more fun: A big public game event or a small private game night? Let me know what you think in the comments.

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