I Literally Have No Vowels

Words With Friends 2

 

Words With Friends 2 is basically your epitome of a casual game. No gore, no element of fear, and certainly no punishment, this game combines the classic elements and mechanics of scrabble with the ability to connect online with other individuals, hinting the “with friends” portion of Words With Friends.  The game even offers a chat box to communicate with your opponents.

Another element that makes this game fall into the casual game category is the fact that this game is about as juicy as it gets. There are bright colors, inviting sounds, and prizes to be won with the completion of weekly challenges.  All of these elements combined with extreme playability makes this game one that is accessible to almost anyone. Take a look at the trailer below to get a feel for the game and the casual atmosphere that the developers at Zynga intended with its design.

Is there anything interesting that can be said about a game like this? The academic intrigue that can be found in this game partially lies within the juxtaposition of the seemingly friendly, low risk vibe with the high stakes competitive atmosphere. You might be asking, how is this game high risk? You can’t die, there are no punishments for a loss, and, most importantly, there are no zombies trying to eat you.  Well, the punishment in this game is one that isn’t quantified within the game.  What you’re risking with this game is your pride. A win cements your superior intellect to your friends while a loss leaves you embarrassed and desperate for a rematch.

This game centers around agon competition that involves strategy, skill, and intelligence while mixing in alea factors of tile selection and opponent word placement.  This combination of agon and alea components offers another interesting component of Words with Friends: how players respond to the game. With a game that can be tied to intellect, a loss can feel like a real blow. I am interested to know if players view losses and victories differently.  What I mean is, are losses written off as unlucky results of chance while victories pinned to a players superior skill? There may be an element of this in all games that combine aspects of agon and alea, but is it more apparent in a game like Words With Friends that centers around the players intellectual ability.

A look into the tile bag

These questions will be analyzed further in upcoming blogs along with other aspects of Words With Friends. At surface level this game may not seem like much but, like any successful game, an incredible amount of thought and creativity has gone into its design and therefore this game has a lot to offer upon further inspection.

Source: I Literally Have No Vowels