Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Different Rose, Same Sweet Smell

Even though Josh returned this evening from his stint as faculty at a conference, we have a guest blogger, commenting on momentous events of the day

Scrabulous. In a word, so many happy memories are evoked: battling friends for linguistic victories, wracking your brain and hitting "sort" to somehow find a potential bingo in the midst of a set of tiles including x, k, m, u, a, s, and an e, and most importantly, enjoying the opportunity to procrastinate in the midst of the workday, delighting in a game that could easily be played in person but seems to be so much more fun on Facebook.

Scrabulous was definitely one of my favorite Facebook applications, one of the first to be added to my nascent account, but I will admit that I'm not terribly upset to see it go. Perhaps this is because I discovered other fun applications, and while I still had a couple of Scrabulous games in play (my sister had been idle for weeks - I wasn't holding out hope), I had actually already transitioned over to the new, legitimate Scrabble application that started a few weeks ago and was reviewed on this very blog . I've been enjoying the shiny new graphics and animation, and even if it doesn't have the exact same features that Scrabulous employed, well, somehow I'm okay with that.

So, what's all of the buzz going on today with Facebook all about. While Facebook did launch a new look (some people have expressed strong feelings about this - you have to check out the comments at the bottom of this blog post - I simply cannot be bothered), I definitely saw at least four of my Facebook Friends updating their status lamenting the loss of Scrabulous. A few even attacked and blamed Hasbro for the sudden disturbance in the force, one person even reverting to name-calling with "Hasbro is a big baby."

Why is Hasbro a "big baby"? I certainly don't think they are. While I'm no copyright/intellectual property lawyer, I do believe they copyrighted their addictive game, hence Scrabulous is supposedly still operational in countries beyond the US and Canada. Hasbro has every right to secure their property - can't really blame them for that. They came up with the game, they copyrighted it, it's theirs.

Well then, who can you blame? There are those out there who want to blame the evil corporation that killed off Scrabulous. I'm sure there are those who place blame with the creators, Rajat Agarwalla and Jayant Agarwalla, the two brothers from Calcutta who simply saw the void in cyberspace where Hasbro had not yet ventured and, indulging their love of the game, created a sensation - Scrabulous is reported to have more than 2.3 million users, with 50,000 visits a day. Again, not a lawyer, I don't know if the Agarwalla brothers did anything completely wrong - until their game became a sensation and spread across the globe - into the US and Canada.

So, for those of us in the US and Canada, so long Scrabulous. I urge you all to download and try out the new Scrabble. Maybe you'll hate it, maybe you'll love it (they're still working out kinks and it's reported that they're continuing to tweak the application into perfection). I'm looking forward to starting new games and striving to add yet another elusive bingo to my repertoire.

1 comment:

Roy said...

Couldn't agree more. True, I hate the music industry for cracking down on real consumers of their product. That marketplace is changing, and they are trying to fight the change instead of adapting. However, I usually hate that since my sharing has largely been fair-use sharing, of either copying my own music to listen everywhere, or swapping 'tapes' with friends to share new tunes in a digital world.

However, this is different. I don't hate on Hasbro. I'm just happy they are finally doing what Elisha said, filling the demand in the new market. If anything, I kind of applaud Hasbro. They could have brought the hammer down weeks or months ago, without a suitable replacement. Instead, the complained, but waited on a lawsuit, until their own version was ready to go wide. Then, they shut it down.