What Makes Scrabble So Popular?

Posted in Offbeat10 years ago • Written by MAKNo Comments

Board games are a staple of social gatherings in America. Whether they’re played at a party, a weekly gathering of friends, as a solution for boredom or for any of the countless other excuses there are, board games have persisted to be popular in spite of the changing entertainment opportunities afforded to consumers by technology. Many of these games come and go, but there are some that persist through time and have become absolute classics. Monopoly, Life and a handful of others come to mind. But one that truly sticks out is Scrabble. The only board games that have sold more than Scrabble are Checkers, Chess and Backgammon, largely due to the abundant licensing of those particular products. But why is Scrabble so popular and persistent? Here are a few of the many reasons.


It’s Simple

One of the major failings of many board games is that they are entirely too complicated. Sure, Risk is fun, but it takes hours to play and with a competitive crowd things can get a bit out of hand. The wonderful thing about Scrabble, and what makes it so enjoyable, is that it is very simple. For those that haven’t played it, basically it comes down to being able to spell and make words in a crossword-like layout. There is a game board with bonuses that affect scoring, but the main thing is being able to use your vocabulary and what letters you have available to make a word that will earn you the most points. It’s that easy, and it’s never the same. This is why people can play the game over and over the course of many years; Scrabble is one of those brilliantly engineered games that is always unique. It’s not like a video game that loses its appeal after it’s played through once—every game is entirely different.

It Sparks Conversation

There is nothing worse than a boring game that contributes nothing to the environment of a room. That is not the case with Scrabble. Anyone who has ever played this game with a group of friends knows how heated and hilarious it can be, which always spawns some interesting conversation. Someone may play a word that is either funny because it relates to an inside joke, or something that isn’t actually a word at all that will spawn a heated debate. This can be even more fun if nobody has a dictionary handy. In any case, there is always good conversation to be had when playing Scrabble, which makes it an ideal board game.

It’s Fun!

This may seem like an obvious thing to say, but some things become popular and when you get them, you find it hard to understand why. Scrabble is just plain fun; if you play it with the right people it never gets old. The game has been around for a long time, and it still receives generally positive reviews from people of all ages. Games are supposed to be fun and at the heart of it, that’s what Scrabble is.

Board games will probably be around for the foreseeable future and in that future, there will be lots of new games that are trendy for a period of time. But what makes Scrabble great is that it has been around for so long and that it can still be so much fun. Sometimes the old ways are the best and Scrabble is the perfect example.


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