Words with Friends, in case you’ve been in solitary confinement for several years, is the smartphone app that lets you play a turn-by-turn crossword game (similar to a copyrighted board game that shall remain nameless) with people in your social network, i.e., your so-called friends.
The biggest difference between Words with Friends and the copyrighted board game that many of us regard as the gold standard is that the former does not penalize you for playing bogus words. If you try to play a word that isn’t in its dictionary, it rejects it and you get to try again. And again and again. Essentially this feature can be used as a word finder—you can try as many combinations of your letters as you like until you make the highest scoring word you can. It rewards brute persistence over vocabulary.
So I thought of a way to let consenting players play in a mode more similar to the copyrighted board game that is remaining nameless. In a “Masters Edition” game, once you submit a word and it is rejected, you then have 60 seconds to submit another word. If by the end of that 60 seconds you haven’t submitted an acceptable word, you forfeit your turn.
Brilliant, huh? And how hard could that be to code?
Let’s tell Zynga, the company that makes Words with Friends, that we want it.