The history and development of scrabble
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30.03.2017

The history and development of scrabble

Scrabble is a type of a word game where players can score points by making words from individual letter pieces on a board. The grid is 15 x 15. The words can be formed either horizontally or vertically and these words should have their presence in a standard English dictionary. People can also take reference of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary which has a list of permissible English words.

It was in 1938 that a famous architect by the name of Alfred Mosher Butts created the first version of the game. The game was called Lexiko. The next variant that he created of the game was known as Criss Crosswords. There was a 15 x 15 inch board added and the crossword style game came into existence. Alfred was not very successful at promoting the game and selling it to big game manufacturers. In 1948, a Connecticut resident by the name of James Brunot bought the rights to start manufacturing the game on the condition that he would have to pay a royalty to Butts for every game sold.

Bruno however made the rules of the game a little bit simpler and also made a slight modification to the squares. The name of the game was also changed to Scrabble. In 1949, Brunot started making game sets in a schoolhouse in Dodgington along with the help of his family members. He made 2400 sets that year but suffered major losses. Then in 1952, Jack Strauss got interested in the game while playing it at a beach vacation. He decided to put the game in his store and the same year the game began to sell like hot cakes. Demand surpassed supply and soon Brunot sold all the manufacturing rights to Selchow and Righter who were based in Long Island. The brothers bought over the trademarks in 1972.

The game was sold in Australia and UK by J.W. Spear & Sons in the year 1955. Now the game is sold under Mattel Corporation. Scrabble turned into a sort of a day time game show on NBC in 1984. Today there are thousands of professional scrabble playing clubs worldwide. The games are played with a time control and a game clock. Each player gets 25 minutes to make all his words. In case a player oversteps a time control for each move, he is penalized 10 points.

International competitions include the World Scrabble Championship, the last one of which was held in Mumbai, India in 2007. Then there is National Scrabble Championship which is a sort of an open event. The next event is going to take place in Orlando in Florida. Then there are special events taking place in countries like the Canadian Scrabble Championship in Canada. This event takes place every three years and invitation is made only to the best fifty players in Canada. There is also the Thailand Championship which is the largest Scrabble competition in the Far East. Today there are several computer games available against which humans can compete.
February 27, 2008, 2:53 pm


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