I admit it: I’ve never played Scrabulous.
I love Scrabble, and might be able to beat every last one of you reading this (okay, maybe not, there are some real word freaks out there who are pros), but I’ve never gotten into playing it on Facebook. Maybe it’s my insistence on the purity of experience of certain things, like how I will never use a book reader. As much as I want to feel the pages of a book in my hands, I like the feel of those little wooden tiles, and the little clicking sound they make when you slap them down. Particularly when you slap them down in glee over a double-word score.
So that, combined with not spending a ton of time on Facebook, meant that I never got into the social network’s number one game. I do feel lots of sympathy for those who played regularly and loved it, as the news broke this week that it’s been taken down (likely permanently) following Hasbro’s decision to file suit. The company responsible for Scrabble, clearly the inspiration for Scrabulous, decided to launch its own Facebook game, and filed suit against the makers of Scrabulous.
Normally, I am not in favor of big companies barging in with cease and desists and ruining everyone’s fun. I roll my eyes every time a network issues a take down order for YouTube, without realizing how many new viewers putting snippets of content on their might drum up (this is especially true for annual events, like the Oscars). But really, this case is pretty clear. Scrabulous, from what I’ve seen, was a straight-up ripoff of Hasbro’s game, and the developers responsible for it made money off of it…soooo, while I feel for those devastated by the loss of their favorite time-waster, it’s hardly reason to call for a boycott.
Hopefully, the new “official” Scrabble app for Facebook will be just as fun, but early reports don’t look good.