Where learning is about fun

Where learning is about fun

Where learning is about fun
Remember playing the word game as a kid and learning words that one didn’t even know existed? The game which is better known as Scrabble was an integral part of one’s childhood and many continue to play it enthusiastically. On the occasion of ‘Scrabble Day’, avid players talk about their passion for the game.

The game is a favourite among youngsters like Yash Potnis, a student of Vidyashilp Academy, who has played at international championships like the ‘World Youth Scrabble Championships’ in Australia. “Though I started playing when I was in the 4th standard, it wasn’t until a year later that I took to the game seriously and learnt the nuances. Once one starts following the game, there is no stopping,” says the passionate player. He adds that the game is very competitive and has helped build his vocabulary. “I love the game as much as any other outdoor game. One cannot be a champion overnight. The game requires a certain discipline and commitment. Gradually one realises the amount of Sanskrit and other words that are actually a part of the game.”

Avid players like Girish Nagpal, vice president of business development for a real estate company, say that they play the game regularly. “I meet a few friends and play the game every Saturday. I find it very interesting and used to play it online till sometime back,” he says.

Girish moved to the offline version a year back. “That’s when I learnt that it gets far more challenging. When playing online, one doesn’t need to tabulate one’s moves and keep score, as the system keeps a tab on it. But in the board version, one has to keep a check on the tiles played, strategically plan every move and calculate the scores. There is more time pressure now. I used to be good at the game online, but I often lose on the board,” he says.
Christopher Imison, a member of the Bangalore Scrabble Club, who used to love solving crosswords earlier, observes that Scrabble needs more concentration. “I migrated to this game because it makes the brain active. It is an important game for youngsters as it adds to the language skills and vocabulary. Also one’s learning ability is constantly triggered with it,” he says.

He initiated a ‘Scrabble League’ in the city, where 25 to 30 players compete and play 2 matches each, in a timeline of 6 months. “The game is mostly played at Century Club and can be played at cafes too.” Christopher says that Scrabble introduces one to a whole new world. “In this game, there are a lot of words one gets introduced to that are not even used, but exist.”

Arun Prabhu, the owner of ‘Dice N Dine’, Koramangala, says that the game is a popular choice amongst customers. “Usually we ask our customers to relax and encourage them to play a game. And this is one game that they come, sit down and start playing immediately. Most don’t even ask for assistance,” says Arun. He adds that this is also why they bought more of the game boards.

The game has been a part of many people’s leisure time. Crystal Clement, a BBA student of St Joseph’s College of Commerce, says that the game is an intrinsic part of sleepovers at friends’ places. “It is fun to see the number of big words one can come up with. The bigger the word, the more the points. This can be really challenging,” she says. Crystal adds, “Any game is about having fun and here, learning happens without one really making the effort.”

Dr Priyanka Shashtri, an ENT specialist with Manipal Hospitals, loves playing the game with friends. “I used to play Scrabble a lot during my hostel days. The game brings a sense of competitiveness and is challenging. I remember how we used to come up with weird word combinations and words, to score more points,” she says laughing.

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