“New” Scrabble rules same as rules you always secretly played by, also not relevant to North America

“New” Scrabble rules same as rules you always secretly played by, also not relevant to North America

Regular Scrabble: just like new Scrabble (Image: Patrick Easters) 

When news hit that Scrabble was changing its rules to allow proper nouns, backwards writing and other sacrilege, stuffy people were appalled. They shook their fists at all the no-good youngsters with their jive talking and their text messaging. The fury was for naught, though, since the rules aren’t really changing.

Instead, Mattel is releasing a different version called Scrabble Trickster. And since Mattel owns the rights to the word game only outside North America, Hasbro, which owns the U.S. and Canadian rights, isn’t touching Trickster. This means that people who want to play the new game will just have to…play how they’ve likely always played it.

Despite the story’s relevance, media outlets are falling over themselves to find the wittiest way to report on the new brand extension. It’s almost like a game. The Washington Post ran a lead filled with impressive words (get it?), the Globe and Mail spelled a word backward (because that’s allowed now!), and almost everyone used an African American name to show how zany the new rules are. Apparently there are no names crazier than Beyoncé, Obama and Jay-Z. At least the latter would provide solid points; Obama, though seemingly promising, would actually end up being an average word in terms of points.

• Obama will now get you 9 points [National Post]
Shakira for points? Scrabble says go for it [Globe and Mail]
New Scrabble to allow proper names [Toronto]
U.S. players react to new scrabble [Washington Post]
Scrabble rules are not being changed [Wall Street Journal]