Scrabble and Other Games Have Overvalued Points

Carl Bialik:

A trio of words — one that’s slang for pizza, another defined as a body’s vital life force and a third referring to a snoring sound — have conspired to change the game of Scrabble.

“Za,” “qi” and “zzz” were added recently to the game’s official word list for its original English-language edition. Because Z’s and Q’s each have the game’s highest point value of 10, those monosyllabic words can rack up big scores for relatively little effort. So now that those high-scoring letters are more versatile, some Scrabble aficionados would like to see the rules changed — which would be the only change since Alfred Butts popularized the game in 1948.

In short, if they’re going to change the list of allowed words, they should change the letter scoring values.

(Via Kottke.)

Thursday, 26 March 2009