Thursday, July 24, 2008

A note to the Scrabble copyright claimant(s): Your new "app" may be advertised as in beta, but no one is going to want the real thing at this rate. I thought it was charming the first few minutes I played around with it; I started 20 games to test-drive the thing, and just as I suspected only a handful have even responded. But the ones that have and I have already started bitching in the chat boxes about it. It's obtuse. Nobody--nobody--gives anything resembling a shit now about Flash. Similarly, when my word is worth a measly six points on its own I do not need a fucking
light show because a vowel brushed a double-word. And I am the fucking king of needing a light show. But not here. Please, God, not fucking here.

You know why Scrabulous was, easily, the greatest app since iTunes? Because it didn't obtrude into your life. It was compact and quick; it needed no introduction to anyone who grew up in an English-speaking household (not to mention endless translations), and as soon as it became available everybody joined in instantly. There really was something in the air when it hit: for a moment it was the de rigueur question--how many games are you currently playing?--that met up with its pop-cult likenesses (Lil Wayne, Dark Knight) over the water cooler. Keeping in mind that SNL veered completely into sketches set in boardrooms, and that this wasn't good for it long-term even if the late-'80s/early-'90s crew could make hay with it sometimes.

Here's one they could have done: the corporate honchos whose prime product got shipped to market at least a year early and with the manufacturer's logo taken off. Panic is midair. Voices are raised within reason, but everybody's testy because they simply didn't have any idea it was going to happen. Blame is brought up but rejected as a means of dealing with this. Then a design guy happens upon the project and asks if he can try some stuff out, he's just learning the ropes and would appreciate the shot at making anything, like, move in 3D and shit. An eyebrow lifts. Design guy would work his magic. And everybody's monitor freezes.

I eagerly signed up for official Scrabble because I figured it was my good karma to, after all these months of binging on play. Not that I think the corporate dudes much care about that, but I like to hope my writing will someday take its place in someone's pantheon, and I wouldn't mind getting credit should some brain spasm uniquely mine end up making someone else rich down the line. So I gave credit, 20 games' worth. Unless big, swift, decimating changes are made, that's all I'm going to pursue for now.