I very much enjoyed this documentary about the origins of Scrabble and how it's played now. It's so right about a lot of things. There was quite a lot in there I didn't know. I knew that Alfred Mosher Butts invented Scrabble, but I didn't know there was a middle phase to the story. The way I knew it, he invented it and then it was discovered by Macy's. But there was more than a ten year gap! And in fact Lexico was not a former name of the board game Scrabble, but a predecessor with similar equipment and rules.
I very rarely think about it now, but I was a player for about 5 years. I did enter a few tournaments but relatively not that many. I was primarily an online player but felt the need to prove myself by playing live tournaments, because Internet Scrabble in particular is a cheat's paradise and there aren't any reliable ways to tell a good player apart from a cheat.
I think it would be very different if I started again today.
Firstly my concentration span is so bad I don't know if I could play. I mean, you can switch off during your opponent's turn which I highly recommend. In a tournament you might play 6 games in a day, or even in one particular tournament 16 games in two days. Each game you get 25 minutes thinking time each, so a theoretical maximum of 50 minutes per game (I say theoretical, it is possible to neutralize the clock so you can go over 50 minutes).
Ignoring that, I remember joining the UK Scrabble forum. Um, total shambles I'm afraid. People at each other's throats constantly, people who knew each other in real life too! Plus now, I wouldn't be so keen to prove myself. I mean I like to record my juggling achievements on camera but not to prove myself to anyone, not even myself. It's nice to have a record of good things that you can watch whenever I want to. Furthermore with counting catches, sometimes you don't know how many catches you have, but if you film it you can replay it and do slow-motions and count catches as many times as you like. Finally you can see what it looks like to others and spot flaws in your own technique. So basically recording your own juggling is an all-round win.
I think I found out that playing Scrabble in person is expensive and quite boring. I remember thinking after 4 games of a 6 game tournament that I was both tired and bored and basically had to try hard to concentrate to not quit in the last two games. Plus with travel and staying overnight (the last one is optional of course) you're paying at least £50 which is as much as the first prize is. In fact, you can win the tournament and operate at an overall loss. Not only 'can' but even the world's best players aren't professionals because there isn't enough money in it; they're winning thousands and spending more than that on travel and accommodation.
So I was really an Internet player. Playing socially in person was cool too but I was a bit too good for the people around me. I had one person come to my house called Mark who was really good but also really sort of weird and boring and I never invited him round again.