A Gaming Addiction
I’m a big Words With Friends addict. For the few of you out there who may not know about this game because you have been living in a remote jungle, or taking care of three kids or actually working at your job, WWF is an app (read application) much like the game of Scrabble in which you have a certain number of letter tiles and you spell out words on a game board, each word having to connect to the next word at some point. It’s made for the iPhone, iPod, iTouch, iPad or any other iTech gadget created by Steve “I AM RICH” Jobs. I downloaded it on my new iPhone about two years ago through the urging of Michelle, a very good friend, who was addicted herself and wanted me to go down the road to ruin along with her. A day has seldom gone by during these past two years that I have not played the game. I even signed up on a tournament site called WordsWithFriends.net where I receive a daily opponent and play in monthly tournaments with players who are far better than I could ever hope to be. That’s how badly I’m hooked.
Here are a few reasons why I enjoy this game so much: (1) It taxes my brain. While looking at those letter tiles and putting together the different possibilities of words in my head, I feel those brain cells running around, bumping into each other, jostling each other around. That’s good. That’s what they were made to do. God made us to think.
(2) It introduces me to a variety of people. The game’s developers so designed WWF that you can play it by passing the game back and forth between a person seated next to you or you can play it with a random opponent the computer chooses for you who may be located halfway around the world. (Besides players in the USA, I’ve played games with people in Hong Kong, Australia, and London.) There’s a built-in feature that allows you to “chat” by texting messages back and forth while you’re playing. I’ve even been able to witness to one player who didn’t play for several days, came back to play and apologized because she had received a bad report about her health and was very depressed.
(3) It’s fun to win. Games are played because winning is euphoric. We love to watch sports because we get to win vicariously through the team we choose to support. That’s not the same as winning a game we’ve played in ourselves. That’s part of the addictive quality of WWF.
(4) It’s a game of both luck and skill. The luck part of WWF is fascinating because, much like real life, you must work with what you’ve been given. Sometimes that’s good, and sometimes that’s bad. No matter how extensive your vocabulary, it’s difficult to make a word without a vowel.
If I’ve piqued (a good word to know when you have a “q” to play) your interest, and you want to play me, my user name is “Riverwalker.” Chat with me while we play, and I’ll tell you why I chose that name.