Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Facebook Scrabulous barred

Talk about an emotional issue. I was playing Scrabulous via Facebook in the earl hours of Tuesday, and suddenly something was wrong. Well, I thought, just temporary. We in the Scrabulous community had been frustrated with a few glitches ... like requesting to host a table and having a game set up with the same person 5 times.

But no, this was sometthing serious, for a LOT of people.

From The New York Times, the HALF A MILLION PEOPLE who played Scrabulous daily had the rug abruptly pulled out from under their feet.

I'll admit I'm a Scrabulous fan and spent and hour or two daily, for relaxation. I got on line as usual, and there was a notice - no Scrabulous. I didn't even get to get my final stats on BINGOS. I played with my sister, my nephew, my niece, and a host of people from all over the world I knew nothing about. Sometimes we chatted, sometimes we just played. Everyone had their own style at Scrab.

I know it was a big thrill in my life that just that day I'd put down a 98 pt. bingo. The highest one before that was AFFLUENT for 95. I have a list of my Bingos tacked up on my bulletin board. My stat was slowly building as I learned strategy from people I played with - from all over the world.

I joined the environment of the Scrabulous community - the controversy over word lists and "cheaters," the 'adult' lists, the people who would write in their requests when wanting to host a table - no porn, no chat, just fun, and brain power only.

From the article:

The Calcutta-based brothers who developed Scrabulous bowed to legal pressure and barred North American users from playing the game on Facebook.

The demise of Scrabulous was sudden but not wholly unexpected. The game, a favorite time-waster among cubicle dwellers, was created by two brothers in Calcutta. On July 24, Hasbro, which owns the North American rights to Scrabble, sued them for copyright infringement. On Tuesday, the brothers made Scrabulous unavailable to Facebook users in Canada and the United States, citing legal pressure.

The backlash was instant. Bloggers denounced Hasbro, howls of protest flooded message boards, and new Facebook groups were created with names like “Down with Hasbro.” Although some people spoke up to defend Hasbro’s rights, most people jeered at the company, calling it everything from “short-sighted” to “technologically in the dark” to “despicable.”

I have had many hobbies and pastimes, and this was the latest one. Following on the heels of a long study of opera, I might add. New interests and hobbies are refreshing!

I had wondered how two brothers from India had been able to come up with something that worked so well, most of the time.

A waste of time? That's silly. One should have some time during the day to "waste." It was fun. It cost nothing, could be played at any time, connected me with some interesting people, and was a harmless activity.

Now I'll have to find something else.

Such is life!

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