Home > Bschool, Me > Playing wordly games

Playing wordly games

One of the many things I wish I were introduced a little earlier in my life is word games. My dad’s office had a recreation club (for its staff NOT the officers), often wrongly associated to the club dances that appeared in the movies of those years. I was a regular patron to the club, chiefly because it had magazines, novels, cable TV (we subscribed after Abi’s class 12), a TT table and a shuttle court. It was one of the major means of entertainment for my friends and me. I could write episodes of the events that used to happen there. Before I get off track, Scrabble was purchased by the club when I was in Class 8. No one there knew how to use it. We, the knowledgeable English medium kids, read the rules and regulations of the game and interpreted it to the best of our abilities. We didn’t insist on the connections between successive plays. We could use the bonus squares as often as we could. This often led to a rush for the triple word scores. This lasted for a year till we found knowledgeable partners.

The next word game that comes to my mind is Hangman in Class 9, which we had to program for a state wide contest held in Anna University. Guru in my team did the coding that time. Mooku and his team won the first prize and we lost out in the semis. Hangman was very addictive and we developed many derivative games. There is the popular World Cup 1992 game, where we had to guess the full names of the cricket players. Like book cricket, this game was more often played in class. It must be Meera who got me introduced to this word game where each player should start a word which ends with the last letter of the previous player’s word. This made me mug up the words starting in ‘y’. Such games are very nice to be played in small gatherings, when you have run out of topics to talk. It goes without saying that the players have to feel for the word.

At college, the GRE preparations had all folks playing word games, apart from reading the normal Norman Lewis. One popular game used to be called GHOST. Each player had to say one letter, without completing the word. If he completes a word, he gets a letter from GHOST. If he gets all letters of GHOST, he becomes a GHOST. This continues till there is just one non-GHOST. Our classmates were fanatics of the game. In our room, we used to play late in the night after the lights have been switched off. I got introduced to Bulls and Cows somewhere during this time. Most of my trips back home used to be with the MIT boys. In one such trip, we played word games non-stop till Erode came and the wordly girl had to get down. Memorable games are played in the train for sure 🙂

Bschool has a set of logophiles (word lovers). My neighbour and I played Bulls & Cows in the first year when we could not stand the class. In a year, I have grown wiser that I have invented/discovered a word game in yesterday’s class. It does not seem very clever, but it is original and fun to play.

Here it goes: The first player writes a word. From its last letter, the next player has to start his word. The catch is his word should not end in a letter that has been the last letter in any of the earlier rounds. This restricts the number of rounds to 26 and so the game gets over fast. Anyone who repeats a last letter is penalised. This rule and the whole game I cooked up in a flash of brilliance. I was trying to make the rules midway because I started the game while trying to kill time and the game just followed. My partner suggests an improvisation that in case of any mistake, the next player should start with the first letter of the previous word. How quickly the game evolves! Our first game ends when my partner is stuck with a word that needs to start in i and end in b,q,v,u,j. In the next game, we start scoring ourselves based on the length of the words and the penalty is a stiff negative of 10 points. This gives the player a bonus to think longer for longer words. One more evolution and lo, the game is formed. We need to think of a time limit for every play and the game would be complete.

Just two games have been played and it seems promising. Do play it and let me know how you like it. I hope I have been able to explain the game. Let me illustrate it with the first game we played.

P1: serendipity P2: yacht P1: tyrant P2: nepotism P1:masculine P1: empirical P2: lure (-1 This is when I framed the rule!) P1: earth P2: hunk P1: Keep P2: peer P1: road P2: darling P1: garlic P2: carton (-1) P1: nebula P2: allow P1: waltz P2: zeal (-1 My partner’s suggestion here) P1: zoo P2: octopus P1: stiff P2: fund (-1) P1: foci

Categories: Bschool, Me
  1. A
    17 July 2006 at 11:19 pm

    Hmm, I thought linguaphile referred to a lover of words. Now I know logophile does too :-)! Will try this new game the next time I get to go on a long trip!

  2. sk
    18 July 2006 at 9:09 am

    Hey nice game, will try!

  3. Jax
    18 July 2006 at 2:32 pm

    Sounds interesting… At office, we usually play the same game without rules as we have to dumb down the levels. Sometimes, a rule like the minimum number of syllables makes it more interesting.

  4. 18 July 2006 at 4:33 pm

    hmm. lemme know when you guys play this some time.

    jax, more rules means you have to think more to play. and your partners are key to the game 🙂

  5. Jax
    19 July 2006 at 11:15 am

    It is true that in such games your partners help you improve the game. I’ve noticed it. Sometimes, simple words make the game boring…

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