Saturday, January 13, 2007

Is Scrabble like a religion?

Recently some Jehovah’s witnesses came to my door and I had a brief chat with them. It made me think that Scrabble is a bit like a religion! I told the Jehovah’s witnesses that I was going out as I had to go to the Scrabble Marathon shortly. Later they asked where I was going so I told them I played Scrabble. As usual I got a confused look and they tried to relate it to something – in this case one of them said he had a friend that played chess. I have often gotten weird reactions from telling people I play Scrabble and often it is easier not to tell people. I have come up with the following list of similarities of Scrabble to religion. I should note that I am not religious in any way, unless Scrabble is a religion.

Tournament Scrabble is quite mysterious like many religions. Although widely played socially, is not known as a highly competitive game by many people.

  • Scrabblers are often trying to 'convert' people. I am always thinking "who would make a good Scrabble player?"

  • Scrabblers have strange meetings where they play a game with strict regulations and guidelines kind of like a church meeting.

  • Scrabblers all learn from and recite a strange book, (like the Bible,) which can make or break a Scrabble game.

  • Scrabblers have a belief that they will reach enlightenment if they memorize all the top 5000 sevens and eights.

  • There are so called Gurus of the game have a strong commitment to the game like a priest's commitment to their religion.

  • Some Scrabblers have strange rituals when playing the game. Some have to pick the tiles out of the bag in a certain way. Others have to use lucky charms when playing games.

  • A naive young man once said of Scrabble: "It's more than a hobby. It's a way of life really."
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