Scrabulous Down, Scrabble Downer
By Maria Popova
SCRABULOUS DOWN, SCRABBLE DOWNER
What a week for the vocabulary-obsessed. Scrabulous fans are 32 hours into the offline jitters as Hasbro has finally pulled the legal plug on the lovable impostor. This time, it seems like all the group-joining, petition-signing, general bitching-and-moaning in the world will help.
Meanwhile, Hasbro has launched their own Facebook Scrabble application.
Or, erm, tried to.
Does anyone else see the utter irony and hypocrisy of it all? Here’s Hasbro‘s largely flawed logic: they can take down Scrabulous because it’s a rip-off of Scrabble, but Scrabble can go ahead and rip off Scrabulous on Facebook.
Because, really, who are we kidding? The true innovation at stake here isn’t in the age-old game itself, it’s in engaging with people where they are and how they choose to engage. And Scrabulous came up with that part — a true testament to the medium being the message. We bet a number of kids picked up the game of Scrabble from their experience with the Scrabulous application — good news for Hasbro, one would think.
Instead, Scrabulous fans are left bitter and disgruntled, possible converts to the Scrabble app are left high and dry, and we’re left thinking no one — not Hasbro, not Scrabulous, and certainly not us users — will get to put down a bingo in the end.
Here’s to another marketer grossly, severely, chronically not getting it.
Published July 30, 2008