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Showing posts from September, 2019

A Fantasy of Control: An Analysis of SCRABBLE’s Player Experience

Takeaways: Masterpiece of game design, earning its place in the canon of American and English cultureWord games allow for interesting and expansive player choices, but carry stigma that narrows its audience 70% skill, 30% random chance seems to be a good ratio for a play experience that is simultaneously accessible to beginners (in the form of beginner's luck) but still feels rewarding enough to retain skilled players 
SCRABBLE has its roots in the Great Depression. Invented by an out-of-work architect named Alfred Mosher Butts in 1933, SCRABBLE was named for the word meaning “to grasp, collect, or hold on to something”. Each of these three verbs play a crucial part in the player experience: the excitement when you grasp an idea for a word, the satisfaction as you collect valuable tiles, and the desperation as you hold onto the hope of a space staying open. The game is marketed as having “lift[ed] the spirits of millions” (scrabble.hasbro.com).

First, the formal elements in brief…