Scrabble vs Words with Friends- Final Video Essay/ Individual Project Dossier

For my individual project, as explained in my pitch blog and followed up on in my beta blog, I decided to create a comparative study analysing the analogue board game Scrabble vs a popular digitised version of the game, Words with Friends. Words with Friends has become a very popular mobile phone game due to it’s accessibility through Facebook messenger. I wanted to search my house for our old scrabble game and see how the gameplay experience differs

To create my final video essay, I used a triangulated approach to analysing my topic. Using our “BCM300 Game Experience Design” knowledge learnt over the semester as well as including some extra sources of research I formulated my three areas of research. The categories I’ve split the video into include: 1. Rules and Mechanics, 2. Media Form (analogue vs digital), and 3. Game Experience.

Rules & Mechanics– In this section give a brief introduction first on what is meant by game rules and mechanics, in doing this an audience with little or no game design experience will be able to understand my video essay. I then explained these in relation to Scrabble and Words with Friends. I then compare how Scrabble and Words with Friends differ in their rules and mechanics. To assist me in this section I have used ‘Defining Game Mechanics’, The International Journal of Computer Game Research (2008) by Miguel Sicart as well as the week 6 lecture on game mechanics by Chris Moore and Richard Hall.

Platform (analogue vs digital)– In this section I discuss the digitalisation of a traditional analogue game the academic report “Digitising Boardgames: Issues and Tensions” (2015) by Melissa J. Rogerson, Martin Gibbs, Wally Smith, helped me formulate this section and I found I could relate their study back to Scrabble and Words with Friends. This article discusses that the choice and design of a digital platform can influence the ways in which digitisation affects a board-game and I found it to be very helpful and easy to relate.

Game Experience– In this section I’ve used another academic article by Melissa J. Rogerson, Martin Gibbs & Wally Smith titled “I love all the bits”: The Materiality of Boardgames (2016). This article helped me explain the “materiality” of both digital and nondigital environments. With use of the article, I summed up my video essay, showing how there is still such an appeal for both games. In this final section of the video essay I also include some opinions my family had of their own game play experience by having them  play test both games and discuss which experience they prefer and what characteristics their preferred game had.

Conclusively, separating my research into three main section greatly assisted me to present the final video essay, however it is the combination of all sections which complement each other and allow for a deeper analysis of “Scrabble vs Words with friends”. Using class materials and knowledge as well as some extended research of my own, I feel I was quite successful in creating my analysis.

Reference List:

Moore, C & Hall, M, 2020 ‘BCM300 Week 6 Game Mechanics’:

Rogerson, M.J, Gibbs, M & Smith, W, 2015 “Digitising Boardgames: Issues and Tensions”

Rogerson, M.J, Gibbs, M & Smith, W, 2016 “I love all the bits”: The Materiality of Boardgames”

Sicart, M, 2008, ‘Defining Game Mechanics’, The International Journal of Computer Game Research, vol. 8, no. 2.

Website: How Do You Play It, “Scrabble Rules: How do you Play Scrabble?” :

Website: Zynga, Words With Friends Rulebook

Gifs- all found of

Music: [No Copyright] Chill Lo-Fi Guitar Instrumental Beat (15 Minutes ♫ ) – “Chilling”;



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