Thursday, February 12, 2009

A lesson in humility

I've always been pretty good with words.

As I have mentioned on this blog before, I have been playing Scrabble since I was about 8 years old. My mom taught me, because in those pre-TV days (South Africa only got TV in around 1975), the long evenings were lonely for a divorced woman - especially one with children to consider. She also taught me how to do cryptic crossword puzzles.

So, over the years, I have grown accustomed to being considered something of a clever-clogs when it comes to word games. Not that I am stellar, or anything, just somebody not to be taken lightly. I have played several word games on Facebook, and usually feature in the top 3 among my friends. In particular, there is a game called Word Challenge where I had been enjoying top spot for some time with a score of 22,503. My closest rival was my good friend Frank with 21,554.

Then, at the recent Learning Technologies conference, I met Ben Chai. He sent me a Facebook friend request and so began a series of the worst hidings I have ever had in my life!

It's true, my injured right shoulder has meant that I have avoided playing any of the mouse-controlled games for a while (for some reason this is the most painful thing to do - I can shovel snow, but I can't make sustained use of a mouse), so I am a tad rusty. Nevertheless, being ludicrously competitive, I have accepted all his challenges, in spite of the fact that they have me moaning in pain. I tell myself that I could do better if only my shoulder were not an impediment. But I have to accept that, even at my best, there is no way I can match Ben.

Scramble is my weakest game, so the fact that Ben's scores there are double mine is hardly surprising. I'm not great at WordTwist, but I have at least been giving him something approaching a run for his money, there. He trounced me at Pathwords, which I'm pretty good at, but the biggest humiliation has been Word Challenge. How on earth does anyone muster a score of 64,402?

I know when I'm out of my league!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You're still at about double my score for Word Challenge. I just really struggle with that and Word Twist; I'm much more comfortable with Scramble and PathWords. Just different ways of seeing the words, I guess.

I have no idea how someone gets a score of over 64K on Word Challenge. That's an insanely high score.