Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Game over

It had to happen. I know it couldn't last. But did it have to end so soon?????

I am distraught. Life doesn't seem worth living any more.... no more reason to get up in the morning and certainly no more reason to log on any more. It's the end of an era. The end of Facebook Scrabulous.

The fact that this has come just when I am experiencing a bit of an up-turn in my game doesn't surprise me one little bit. If I was got dealt Aces online, there'd be a power cut. If I won a million in the lottery, the Inland Revenue would immediately implement a 99% tax on unearned income. And only today one of my fondest dreams - that Conrad Brunner, PokerStars' Head of Communications, EMEA, would actually start a game with me - came true. So hardly surprising that minutes later his brother-in-law messaged me to say that the cops were on it and Scrabulous' facebook future was looking decidedly bleak (11 pts).

I had realised ages ago that Scrabulous was probably infringing copyright. On its own site, Scrabulous never actually says the word "Scrabble" anywhere. Instead it describes itself as "the coolest word game" while retaining all the Scrabble hallmarks. Or as Hasbro + Mattel would have it, trademarks. They're probably right, but where does that leave the half million facebook Scrabulous addicts who are now hopelessly hooked.

There are 317 Scrabulous groups on facebook and at least 50 of these are for addicts. There are groups for Jewish Scrabulous players, French scrabulous players, gay Scrabulous players, lesbian Scrabulous players, longest-word enthusiasts, the Association of Scrabulous Sapiens, Scrabulous widows, word-lobbyists (please make "zen" a Scrabulous word), cheat-naming groups and - my personal favourite - a group called "Every time Scrabulous has trouble loading, a little part of me dies". God, I know how that group feel - the bad months of late Summer still rankle - a desperate time.

And now, of course, there are a dozen more "Save Scrabulous" groups - all of which will, I am sure, have zilch effect if facebook really gets sued.

And those that say Scrabulous is something that sad people do at home because they don't have real lives have totally not got it. In the media room at the last poker tournament I was working at, at least five of us were all playing Scrabulous against each other. Cries of "your go" were at least as frequent as "did anyone see that last hand".

All that's really left for me now is to make sure I win all my current games. I'm confident about most of them and hoping to enjoy my first ever win against Tori Coxon (I'm currently 34 points ahead after tossing "ruga" onto a triple) and may even, if the gods be willing, get my first victory against Snoopy. So here's hoping.