Survey: There's a 1 in 10 Chance Words With Friends Will Get You Some Action

Illustration for article titled Survey: Theres a 1 in 10 Chance emWords With Friends/em Will Get You Some Action

We all know that the "social" space has changed the dating scene. Facebook has thrown all sorts of new tools and little wrinkles our way.

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Now that the virtual hangouts have caught up with crowded bars as a place to meet a mate, social games are finding a new way to shine. Zynga ran a poll this week in Words With Friends, its super-popular Scrabble-like tile word game for phones and Facebook. Over 118,000 players responded, and of them, 10% claimed that Words With Friends had led directly to a hookup.

Break down that number, and there are over 11,000 folks whose tile draws were apparently very, very lucky indeed.

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Words With Friends Players Get Flirty and Wordy With Valentine's Day Poll [Zynga company blog]

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DISCUSSION

Argh... I'm still sad that Words with Friends is eclipsing the infinitely greater Scrabble in the public consciousness. I had some fun with it, then began to realize that it ruins everything that matters in a Scrabble game:

(1) Terribly placed multipliers that kill the balance by allowing fairly frequent 100+ point turns (by overlapping with more than one word-multiplier).

(2) Accepts too many words, leading to nearly every odd 2- or 3-letter combination working (instead of sticking to something like the Official Scrabble Dictionary, and yes I own one).

(3A) The biggest offense, perhaps: it allows each player to just move letters around all they want and keep hitting "submit", so that you will eventually find a winning combination (especially given complaint #2).

(3B) Connected with prior complaint: since it lets you keep submitting until something "works", there is no longer any challenging your opponent. It's no longer a game about better vocabularies, creativity, and occasionally bluffing your opponent who you believe will fall for a false word. Now it's all about just fiddling with it until some crazy combination of letters is accepted for ridiculous point totals.

Conclusion: play Scrabble, on a board with some smart opponents, and never be tricked into believing that any of your Words with Friends skills will translate to the real game.