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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Scrabble, we have a problem.

The latest--October 21. Day 6. Not "favoriting" this... iOS users are still SOL. 
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Update--October 20. Yesterday, EA reported the following via Facebook and Twitter: "Hello everyone. Scrabble for Google Play has been updated with the fix to the Facebook connect issue. You can download the latest version in the Google Play store now. We're continuing to work the iOS and Amazon versions. Thank you again for your patience." 
Courtesy of Scrabble Digital

In other words, those of us playing on Apple devices are still hostages to this network terror, er, error. As Sean McAleer commented below: "In my mind, I'm hearing Ted Koppel's voice saying something about Day 5 of America's Captivity." 

Scrabble has become hardscrabble. 

What the Scrabble app dubs a “network error” has become a network TERROR for legions of wordsmiths who are suffering serious withdrawal as a glitch between Electronic Arts (EA) and Facebook enters Day 3. EA is the entertainment software company that delivers Scrabble and hundreds of other games to phones, tablets and computers.

“The addicts are getting antsy!” one user commented on EA’s Scrabble Digital Facebook page. “I N E E D M Y F I X ! ! !” posted another. “Scrabble withdrawal worse than drugs… please fix it soon,” wrote a Frenchwoman, summing it up for hundreds of the game’s 950,000+ fans who are irritable and vocal. It’s especially aggravating if one has paid for the app as a way to circumvent annoying advertisements.
 
Meanwhile, crickets are chirping.

As our hands shake and we sweat and writhe in agitation, EA’s response seems to be a big Ho Hum. At this writing, it’s been nearly 24 hours since the company’s most recent update to its Facebook and Twitter followers—the last being an ill-received attempt at cheerfulness: “The team here is working hard on resolving the Facebook connection problem with mobile apps as quickly as possible and will keep you updated on when it will be back up!”

Okay, so admittedly this is a first-world problem. Clearly there are other more important issues du jour… like Ebola and ISIS and the mid-term elections. But those are exactly the reasons Scrabble games and Facebook in general give some relief to the masses. Paradoxically, they are a way to both escape and stay connected. Lots of us play Scrabble and do crosswords as a way to keep our minds sharp, hedging our bets (fingers crossed) against future cognitive impairment. The game also provides a quick getaway from the day-to-day drudge and angst of unfulfilling jobs, bad news and personal problems. And, while using Scrabble’s chat function, we can communicate daily with loved ones—it’s how I stay in touch with my brother and a small handful of friends who, like me, enjoy the challenge of a good game along with a quick check-in.

As the old adage goes, Misery loves company, so in the meantime, Scrabble users with DTs can at least commiserate via social media… and there’s always Words with Friends.