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Sunday, February 15 • 12:30pm - 1:00pm
Beyond the Scrabble word list: making more inclusive word games

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Pick up almost any word game and you'll find that its model of the English language is based almost entirely on an analysis of the frequency of single letters. It's why Z's are worth more (but are less common) in Scrabble, and why the same words always seem to show up over and over again when you're playing Boggle. In this talk, I argue that while this is an intuitive model, it's ultimately unfun—making word games more about rote memorization than, well, building words. I'll talk about research into the various kinds of knowledge that people bring to bear on the task of putting English words together, and advance some ideas about how this knowledge can be incorporated into games and play. The goal: to encourage designers to make word games that are fun for a wider variety of English speakers—regardless of how much of the Scrabble word list they've memorized.

avatar for Allison Parish

Allison Parish

Allison Parrish is a computer programmer, poet, game designer and educator based in Brooklyn. She is currently the Digital Creative Writer-in-Residence at Fordham University and an adjunct professor at NYU's Interactive Telecommunication Program. She is the designer of several wordplay-based... Read More →

Sunday February 15, 2015 12:30pm - 1:00pm EST
Redstone Theater First Floor

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