Reel Girl game of the week: Scrabble

Scrabble, in some ways, is best board game ever invented, hands down.


Scrabble is fun and educational. Anyone who can read can play, yet the game naturally evolves to  meet and match ages and skill level.

Scrabble is in no way sexist, unless you believe in the bullshit that girls are verbal. That’s a  generalization fostered by training and reinforcing girls to be well-behaved, quiet bookworms, then calling it a “natural feminine” behavior. A “female” advantage, by the way, that magically vanishes when “being verbal” gains status; males dominate Nobel prize winners and great author lists.

Whether you have girls or boys or both, Scrabble will develop spelling and vocabulary. There’s just one problem my family has playing Scrabble.The game is vicious.  It’s rare to play without someone in the family crying or quitting.

Why oh why is this game so competitive? I have tried to figure out what it is about Scrabble that brings out the worst in my kids. The bad behavior happens not only in how my children treat each other but how they treat themselves. They make fun of and cut down each others words, but also they do the same thing to their own creations. Almost never do I see a one of them put out a word and feel really proud of it; more often, she feels like, somehow, she could have done better. Thus, when we play Scrabble we all feel slightly on edge and vaguely dissatisfied, until the inevitable blow up comes and the whole game is ruined.

Scrabble is a great game, but I don’t know if its worth the emotional upheaval. Nonetheless, Reel Girl rates Scrabble ***HHH***