The Scrabble Series Part 2: Keeping Good Company

Long time readers of Idea IS the format may remember an early post entitled The Scrabble Series Part 1: Playing the Board, from way back in January.  I talked about the possibility of a second in the series, but never really expected to write it.

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This is the new Scrabble app on Facebook, replacing an unofficial version muscled out by Mattel and Hasbro once they were ready to usurp its substantial userbase with their own mediocre alternatives.  Hasbro have rolled theirs out in the States, and Mattel have launched this version for the rest of the world.

It’s not half as tactile or easy-to-use as Scrabulous was, and I’ve been tending to avoid online Scrabble anyway, being that it can end up being a very disruptive element in the context of my already undisciplined ways, so it’s taken me a while to get to trying it out.

I have settled down recently for a game or two though, and on both occasions we started and concluded the games in the same sitting.  The game shown above was played tonight between myself and the auld enemy, Walter Micklethwait, currently to be found tickling trout and building bothies in the Cairngorms.

Walter and I see each other far too rarely these days, given that we once enjoyed the spoils of living in the same building down Homerton way.  Between instant messenger and the Scrabble board it felt tonight as though we’d almost sat down together for a couple of hours, catching up on each others news, and matching each other very well on the board.

I’m of a mind to continue this trend, playing the occasional sit-down game in amiable company, rather than having any number of different matches on the go at any given time.  It allows you to develop a definite continuity, in terms of how you play the board and manage your hand.  It also forces you to play a faster game, which better equips you for playing my father-in-law.

This is the point at which, following the single-post precedent for my Scrabble series, I now relate this in some way to the work I do marketing movies on the web.  I could easily post-rationalise it into a look at the value of giving something and/or someone your full attention, but that would be boring.

What I will tell you is that the company and conversation is key.  When I’m stimulated and enjoying myself, I play better, win more often and lose more graciously.  I’m able to appreciate the other guy, and ready to play a little loose and try to find the moves to earn their respect.

A good creative company offers exactly that – good company. The conversations that guide and stimulate your progress should be compelling ones, even if you’re losing.

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