Major Change Coming to Scrabble to Appeal to ‘Participation Trophy’ Generation

Major Change Coming to Scrabble to Appeal to ‘Participation Trophy’ Generation

The venerable spelling game “Scrabble” is making a big change to appeal to the snowflakes in Generation Z who just can’t seem to stomach a game that has a scoring system that allows someone to win.

For the first time in 75 years, Mattel, the company that manufactures the famed board game in Britain, is making a change to its rules so that those who grew up getting participation trophies just for showing up can play without getting their delicate sensibility in a twist, according to the New York Post.

The newest release of Scrabble will now feature a double-sided board. One side will be the traditional board featuring the game as it has been since it came out in 1938.

But the other side is a snowflake version, one that omits the traditional features so that players don’t have to keep score. There are goal cards with challenges, like “play a three-letter word” or “play a horizontal word.” The first player to complete 20 challenges is the winner.

There are also “helper cards” that more or less solve the players’ questions for them so that they don’t have to think too hard. And we know how much snowflakes hate to be forced to think. Feeling is more their speed.

The new rules will scale back the scoring system and will also facilitate team play instead of fostering solely individual competition.

Apparently, the upgrade in the venerable tile game is made by downgrading it and pretty much taking out the competition part of the game.

If you have never played Scrabble, the idea is that the letter tiles each have a value on them. And when you make a word, you add up the values to total up your points for the word. The one with the most points at the end of the game wins. The strategy comes in where certain squares on the board can give you extra points if your tile lands on them while you are making your word. So, your strategy is to utilize those spaces to gain even more points.

The original game is a pretty simple game, really. The difficult part is visualizing the words that you can make with your tiles, coupled with the luck of the draw in the blind choice of letter tiles.

But it can be competitive. Gaining as many points as possible is the goal, so there must be a winner and a loser when all is said and done — or does there?

British podcaster Gyles Brandreth praised the changes, noting that, “The makers of Scrabble, Mattel, have done some research, and found that younger people, Gen Z people, don’t quite like the competitive nature of Scrabble.”

Calling the changes “exciting,” Brandreth — who is the president of the Association of British Scrabble Players and organized the British National Scrabble Championship in 1971 — breathlessly added, “They want a game where you can simply enjoy words and language, and being together and having fun creating words.”

The updated version is being marketed as “Scrabble Together,” to emphasize the team aspect of the new, more “inclusive” rules package.

“Scrabble has truly stood the test of time as one of the most popular board games in history, and we want to ensure the game continues to be inclusive for all players,” Mattel vice president Ray Adler told the Post in a statement. “For anyone who’s ever thought ‘word games aren’t for me,’ or felt a little intimidated by the classic game, Scrabble Together mode is an ideal option.

“Scrabble Together mode continues to celebrate the wonder of words just as the classic version does, but thanks to its exciting new cooperative and dynamic gameplay, it’s more accessible and brings people together.”

Licensing agreements, though, might mean that this snowflake version will be relegated to the U.K.

Mattel sells the game in Europe, but in the U.S., the distribution rights are owned by Hasbro — which itself is not above going woke with its products. So this new version will not be sold here, at least for now.

For its part, Hasbro has put out a statement saying that they love Mattel’s new version in the U.K., but have no plans to adopt it for the U.S. market.

Maybe we’ll be spared this wokeness by the wonders of capitalism after all.


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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