Why Word Games?

I have been wondering why it is that I enjoy playing word games so much, especially a Scrabble-take off on Facebook. Lately, after reading my email, this is my activity of choice for relaxation. The time passes too quickly, until I realize that I’ve relaxed enough already, and need to be up and going.

One answer that comes to mind is that I am good at spelling. It makes sense that I would choose to do that which I do well when I am relaxing. I would not be playing softball to relax, for example, because I have never been good at batting or throwing a softball.

Another answer is that I enjoy the activity of fitting the words together like a puzzle, sort of like building a word map. This is the same satisfaction that comes from playing a game of Freecell or Spider Solitaire: putting things in order. This is also the satisfaction that I feel from neatening up the house. So when I’m done neatening in reality (or too tired to do it yet!), I enjoy virtual neatening.

However there are other games which involve spelling or finding words, such as Pathwords and Word Scramble that are not so much fun for me, nor am I that good at them. The added factor there is a TIMER. To me, a timer equals stress, and slows me down. So, an attraction of the Scrabble-type games is that the pace is mine to choose; I find this relaxing.

Not only do I enjoy spelling, I love words. I love the look of certain words, the sounds of words, the origins of words. I do get pleasure delving into the dictionary from time to time. So it does make sense that I enjoy playing with words.

Of course I can’t forget instant gratification. It takes more time and thought and creativity to do a blog post or write a poem. I enjoy doing those things, too, but my focus lately must be on relaxation, because word games have been winning over word crafting!

I am competitive. I like to win! This is something at which I win 63 percent of the time presently, but I know I’m getting better. I also feel like I’m being challenged by the selection of letter tiles before me, to find the best scoring word hiding within them. The friends against whom I play are so good; their skill challenges me, and helps me to improve, too.

Another attraction is that I can chat with my Facebook friends while playing, so it’s a social thing as well. It’s more relaxing to talk to someone about this or that while you’re both busy spelling words. The time passes quite pleasantly.

Maybe next time I’ll do a post about some of the other things I could or should do instead of playing word games, but that’s all for now, folks!

6 Responses to “Why Word Games?”

  1. Susiej says:

    My Mom LOVED scrabble. She used to play it on-line with my brother… it was their thing. He really misses that.

  2. kerri says:

    I like “neatening” games too, like spider solitaire. I like seeing all those disorganized cards all come into their nice little piles. But I’ve avoided trying the games on facebook because I don’t trust myself to get off soon enough. 🙂

  3. Mad Kane says:

    I’ve been enjoying playing Lexulous with you on Facebook! Even though you’re demolishing me. 🙂