Book people are word people. I’ve yet to see an exception to this. If they’re number people who like to read, even if all they ever read about is numbers, somewhere along the way they become word people as well.
I love words. I happen to not be a number person at all, but even if I had been, I think I would love words. I am happiest when I am surrounded by words: reading, writing, hearing stories, seeing plays. And like many word people, I’ve always loved word games.
Scrabble. Crosswords. Hangman. Balderdash. Bananagrams (haven’t played it? Look it up!). If you and I ever spend an evening together and you want to make me totally, blissfully happy, pull out a word game and you’ll have significant trouble getting me to go home.
For whatever reason, though, I’ve always been opposed to those word games you play on your smart phone or on Facebook. You know the ones. They look like Scrabble but with a more obnoxious color palette, and people play them instead of interacting with the humans around them. Those games.
Man, did I used to hate those things.
Then recently, my boyfriend asked me to play Words with Friends on Facebook. That’s another Scrabble knockoff, and I do love Scrabble. But I was still torn; I felt like I was being sucked into some weird internet world – a cold world, without cookies or soup. And I love soup.
I told him I’d play if we played it like a real game- if we both sat down at the computer, at the same time, doing nothing else, and played the game all the way through. Not a distraction from real life. Not that flashing light in the background that annoys the person you’re talking to. Just a game I could play with a super special person while we couldn’t be together.
The game was surprisingly fun, and I agreed to start new games, with my best friend and my roommate. But those weren’t “real time” games, and I found myself working on them when I should have been doing other things. Like eating. And sleeping. Not good. I’d rather be reading anyway.
But word games are SO. MUCH. FUN. It was tough. Once I started, how could I stop?
For myself, I’ve decided to set a few ground rules. Basically, I want to feel like I am playing a real game. So I can’t play multiple games at once, and I can’t play games while I’m doing other things, and I’m certainly not going to play a game with someone without talking to them. I make conversation, online or on the phone, to keep things personal. I am, after all, a very chatty girl.
The internet and words. Words and the internet. They’ve become forever entangled, and I’m not the first person to try and pull them apart in a way that makes it all work for me. I’m just a people person who loves word games. So sue me.
So where do you draw the line? Are games, conversations, etc. things that should happen in person? Are there things that you flat-out won’t do online?