Here's the Scoop: April 25, 2012

I’m not playing!
Often when someone asks me what I “did” over the weekend, I have to give the question some serious thought before responding. The fact is, I like to think I do a lot of “stuff,” but I can’t always recall the specifics. It’s probably better that way.

However, there’s one I always know that I didn’t do — play Words with Friends. Or any other online game.

In fact, I have no idea what Words with Friends is — and I don’t care to find out. To me, this whole social media craze may be a just a wee bit out of hand. This is especially true when folks are announcing to hundreds of their closest buddies that that have nothing better to do than to play word games online. Or is it just me?

Maybe I’m just hurt that no one ever asks me to play Words with Friends or one of the similar games about which folks are so enthusiastic. Or, perhaps I’m worried that my addictive personality will lead me to playing this game when I have other, more productive things I could be doing, say, like working.

Gotta be fun, right?
After all, there must be some fabulous appeal to these games if people are actually going around bragging that they spend countless hours of spare time engaged in such seemingly pointless activities.

One of the things that I find odd about these online announcements is that, while people are way more than willing to let the world know that their lives are pathetically boring, I never see any outcomes listed from these games. You played, but did you WIN? I mean, why play if you don’t aim to beat someone into submission?

There are some people who feel that I’m just a tad competitive. They could possibly be right — I’d challenge them on this charge, though, and I know I’d be victorious. Well, maybe those folks have a point after all.

Where’s the competitive edge?
Still, all the people bragging about engaging in these word games can’t simply be doing it for the fun of merely having played. Aren’t they cut-throat? Don’t they want to experience that unrivaled euphoria of beating down an opponent, smirking and blurting out: “Nyah, Nyah, I crushed you!”? Not that I would do this, but I’ve heard tales of such reactions.

Despite the fact that these game-players don’t seem to be embarrassed to announce to the world that they have nothing better to do than participate in silly online entertainment, the trend shows no signs of slowing down.

Personally, I’ll stick with Fantasy Baseball. You follow the exploits of real players and wage strategies against other “owners” with the same goals. Then, when you meet your opponents at the convenience store, you sympathize with each other over the unfairness of major injuries and prolonged batting slumps.

I guess that’s the Fantasy Baseball version of “Words with Friends.” Hey, maybe it’s not so bad after all. As long as you win.
— Brian Sweeney