The Scrabble Duck is an attempt to make sense of the weird but somehow wonderful world of tournament scrabble from the bemused perspective of a former chess and magic player.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Questions and Clarifications
Before we move on to a new topic, I would like to take a moment to review and think a little further about the issue at hand. Several people have talked to me about the last couple posts (though unfortunately not through the forums which are a little more productive and much longer lasting than an ephemeral text or phone conversation). Several recurring themes emerged from these conversations. For instance: some people play scrabble for fun and not neccesarily to improve. That is obviously a person's individual choice and they have every right to make it. I started this discussion becasue of my own curiosity. Not to be repetitive, but outside the insular world of scrabble very different decisions are often made by the majority of individuals confronted with similiar situations. How efficiently another individual chooses to practice (or not practice) does not infringe upon my rights. Insults and dispersions cast on my character or others making similiar choices, likewise are annoying, but not particularly harmful. My twofold goal simply was to understand why others were making a particular choice and furthermore, why they cared so passionately about it. Why do those who have made clear that they do very much want to improve make certain choices? I pose this question in an earnest and civil manner, but continue to receive many responses like Winter's that states he wants to "bludgeon" ISC "cheaters". I am aware of the hostility that exists, but questions of its origin and specific manifestations remain unresolved. The poll results (with a few days to go) are essentially what I expected. The majority chose no aids under any circumstances even with my hyperbolic phrasing. There was very little midle ground and a few admitted (albeit annoymously) that they believe and/or practice a no holds barred approach for ISC. This may simply be an issue like abortion (though obviously of much less importance) where dissenting sides either will not or even can not have a discussion without giving in to the extremely negative connotations they have with the other side's beliefs. Where does this excessive vitriol originate? I have a theory, but it will have to wait until next time when I examine opposing perceptions of resigning/forfeiting in scrabble and the rest of the world.