Home African Caribbean Dumbing Down Is Not Good As Far As Scrabble Is Concerned.

Dumbing Down Is Not Good As Far As Scrabble Is Concerned.

by Tony Kelly
0 comment

Recently whilst driving and listening to my favourite radio station Classic FM  I heard the news that there is to be a new less competitive version of Scrabble the famous board game. This was certainly not an April Fool’s prank as I later checked and found the information confirming that was indeed the case.  Apparently, this newer version of the game is based around collaboration and a simpler scoring system rendering it less competitive.

To set it in context  Scrabble was introduced to the world by an American Alfred Mosher Butts in 1938  as a word  game for two to four players  and the idea is to form words with  7 lettered tiles  picked out of a bag  and try to win the game by  placing the word on the board scoring as many points. Being strategic is also important in order not to open up the game too much for one’s opponents and of course if one is able to play all seven tiles on a space for a double or triple word, the score can be very high and almost unbeatable.

Having done some research on the internet  here are some of the statistics that I discovered which readers might find interesting as Scrabble remains one of  the most popular board games  ever.  Monopoly which is a game of chance by throwing a dice is the only other that  Is more popular  having sold over 275 million worldwide.

Scrabble  is sold in over 120 countries in more than 30 languages  with over 150 million sets sold worldwide. Roughly  one-third of American and half of British  homes having a Scrabble set. There are over 4,000 Scrabble clubs around the world.

Of course, with the age of technology one is now able to play Scrabble online and, in our home, we had a Scrabble version on a disc where one  could even play singlehandedly  against it at varying levels of difficulty. It was extremely hard to beat that disc Scrabble version at the advanced levels.

The well-known saying ‘If it ain’t  broke,  don’t fix it’ springs to mind as why would one alter in any way what is clearly a winning formula?   Life in my opinion is all about competition, taking risks and a game of chances. One often hears the adage that it is not the winning but the taking part that counts as we cannot all be winners. As long as we have tried to the best of our ability that is far more  important and in the final analysis there are really no losers as each person would have benefitted from being involved. Competition is healthy for everyone  and should be encouraged instead of dumbing down a board game of which no one in my opinion benefits. Challenges in life are for the best and ‘a quitter never wins and a winner never quits’.  Life has never been known to be a bed of roses and making things easier is doing the players a disservice.

Lexicon, linguistics, spelling, comprehension, syntax, punctuation and concord all improve by playing Scrabble on a regular basis.

The ability to increase ones word power/vocabulary, learn new words  and use the dictionary to discover their meaning is a teaching tool that should be a valuable asset. The requirement to add up scores whilst playing improves ones mental agility and ability. Scrabble in my experience makes learning so much more fun.

I have always been an avid Scrabble player and whilst living in Havendale,  Kingston in the seventies with the Dehaney family and other boarders used to play until the wee hours of the morning especially at weekends with the Oxford dictionary ever present. That was to not just challenge unusual words, but out of curiosity look up the meanings of unfamiliar words and increase our knowledge and understanding of them.

Known for my spelling prowess  I was also able to spot spelling mistakes of others whilst playing Scrabble  which meant they would miss a turn but then  they would be more aware of the correct spelling going forward, hence a major learning curve.  I cannot think of a better tool than this word game to assist in that regard.

I  recall on one or our visits to Jamaica someone who was a teacher and later became a pastor  asked me to bring a Scrabble set  from England which I had no hesitation in doing,  as being  a firm believer in the power of education that was ideal.  The person  clearly saw  the value of education and in recent times I reminded him about that.

It will be interesting to know over time how many of this new Scrabble board game are sold as to use another proverbial saying ‘New brooms sweep clean but old brooms know the corners’. One does not want to come across as ‘old school’ or conventional  and being unable to move with the times but with regards to Scrabble my take is to leave it as it has always been. I certainly won’t be buying the new style version of the game under any circumstances. It would be interesting to know what CaribDirect readers think about this.

Tony Kelly

Tony Kelly

London born Tony Kelly of Jamaican parents grew up in Jamaica and returned to live in Birmingham in 1979.
He is a graduate of Mico Teachers’ College and taught in Kingston high schools prior to working for 30+ years as a middle manager in central and local government with an emphasis on equity, equality, diversity and inclusion. He has a masters’ degree in socio-legal studies from the university of Birmingham.
For over a decade Tony has volunteered as a diabetes ambassador firstly for Diabetes UK and now for the National Health Service – Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group. A multi-award winner doing a yearly average of 150 health and well-being events, locally, nationally and internationally focusing on type 2 diabetes. He was diagnosed with this medical condition 18 years ago. However with a combination of physical activity and diet he has never taken medication thus proving with the right mindset and discipline it can be achieved.
As a diabetes advocate/activist Tony will continue delivering the message of healthy options to readers of CaribDirect.com .


You may also like

Leave a Comment

Copyright © 2024 CaribDirect.com | CaribDirect Multi-Media Ltd | CHOSEN CHARITY Caribbean New Frontier Foundation (CNFF) Charity #1131481

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Privacy & Cookies Policy