You’ve probably downloaded thousands of game applications on your iPhone to play when in an awkward/boring situation, but how many of them offer you the chance to play with your friendsWords with Friends does just that, it taps into the iPhone’s networking capabilities to allow you–and whichever other iPhone-owning friend you desire–to enter into a lingual face-off. There is no single-player mode…but even if you have absolutely no real-life friends (or maybe just no friends with iPhones), you can still play…even better is that the iPhone will match you up with a random opponent instead of just a computer player!

And terrible spellers need not fret, Words will not submit a word unless it is a real one: which brings in the wonderful world of guessing and discovering crazy, high-point words that you never even knew existed (Qi on a triple letter tile, for example, will get you 31 points). Words also offers a conversation portion, so you and your friends can chat about the words being played, the weather, or whatever else floats your boat, during gameplay. Typical gameplay usually lasts several days, as strategizing moves to stump your opponent or maximize points generally takes some planning and contemplating. But fear not, whenever it is your move, the iPhone will send you a Push notification, so you don’t have to live within the app to know when it’s your turn.

For my travelogue, I plan on interviewing my four current opponents (who are real-life acquaintances) as well as entering into random gameplay and interviewing whoever appears. I mostly want to know how they found out about Words and why they like it so much. I personally heard about it through my friends/family (who begged me to download it until I caved, and now I find myself doing the same to whoever I see with an iPhone). I also want to investigate the friends phenomenon. Since facebook has come out, it seems that every possible place where friend connectivity can be included in an app/software, it has been. Whereas in earlier times, the internet has been about anonymity, facebook has opened the portal into the friends realm. I would also like to examine the exclusivity factor, facebook jumped in success because it was “cool” and exclusive–only available to college students….well Words is only available to iPhone users, but once it opens up to other services, I wonder how much more popular it will get?

My final point of interest is that John Mayer tweeted “Words with Friends is the new twitter,” at which point the downloads sky-rocketed! Making me realize that many of us see celebrities as our friends/opinion leaders..so perhaps I could tap into that aspect of the friends phenom. as well?

Oh yeah, and it’s free to download…so you should play against me…my username is Jennyirving

2 Responses to “F-R-I-E-N-D-S”

  1. wasante says:

    Random anonymous Scrabble? Why not? I’m actually curious if two people can easily be accommodated by playing scrabble on the fly like this. This seems like a really interesting idea. Not only that but the fact that gameplay can be suspended and continued on a later date seems like a truly worthwhile addition. I honestly don’t believe my vernacular has any true merit when opposed against the quick wits and verbose strangers of the world. I’m curious, essentially this sound like scrabble with a smart phone, are they going to get any royalties or are they just late to the party?

  2. cassidyraehavens says:

    this is a cool topic and it seems like it’s a pretty popular app too! i think it’s wise to look at the bigger picture through something as specific as words with friends, but i’d be careful in actually how broad you want to go. i think the friends phenomenon is good, but i wouldn’t really go into the “we consider celebrities as friends” thing. i’d leave that more for twitter and if a celebrity actually follows you back (yoko ono follows me!)

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