Scrabble is a popular game which goal is to spell words out of random letters you get. The game is based on the dictionary and the more vocabulary a person has, the more chances they will have of winning over their competitors.
But from now on you may have to be selective since there has been a request to ban ethnic insults in tournaments. However, the issue has not been entirely settled, the discussion has arisen a lot of debate.
So there you have it. Not even Scrabble is excluded from anti-racial revisionism. Let’s see what the discussion is about and where it is taking to… Will Scrabble forbid words after their supposedly racial meaning?
Making A Decision
A few days ago, an article by David Waldstein in the New York Times reported that “Scrabble tournaments are moving toward banning racial and ethnic slurs.”
Hasbro, the toy company that owns the rights to Scrabble in the United States, reported that the North American Scrabble Players Association (NASPA ) had “agreed to remove all slander from its word list for the game of Scrabble tournaments, which is administered solely by that entity.”
The issue, however, is not entirely settled: the decision could collide with the NASPA itself since many players consider that no word should be excluded from the lexicon available for the board game. After all, the words that each participant forms on the Scrabble board are not chosen for their meaning, but for the letters that make them up.
This game, popular in most of the world, consists of earning points by forming words on a board: each letter has a score (the higher the more difficult it is to use), and some boxes double or triple the points of the letter or word. Meaning doesn’t count at all. Just the spelling.
So far, the general rule of thumb in Scrabble is that every word in the dictionary can be used. Only proper names were forbidden.
Now, excluding words would open a door that later will be difficult to close. Who determines what are the ethnic and racial slurs? Is “Black” an insult? Half-breed, mulatto? Indian? And what about the others? For some people, fat is. Could a competitor write “whore” if he has a woman in front of him? Sissy? Dwarf? Or will it be necessary to create different versions of the game for each ethnic or social “group”?