Episode 43: Triple Word Scorn

Episode 43

1st December 2011

Jesse brings the case. He and his friend Jessica frequently play a word tile game online. Recently, Jessica found herself stumped, and threw in a set of letters that she believed “looked like a word.” The game accepted the word, and Jessica was delighted. Jesse, however, was vexed: isn’t submitting random words until one is accepted cheating?

Episode notes

Jesse and Jessica are used to squaring off against one another when they play online word games on their smartphones. In this episode of Judge John Hodgman their rivalry spills into the courtroom as they litigate their literary license. Please use JUSTICE in a sentence!

A few months ago, Jessica made a last ditch effort to play her turn and plugged in a few letters. Surprisingly, the game accepted and points were awarded.

Jesse felt that without full knowledge of the word’s spelling or its meaning, simply plugging in letters at random is “spamming” and therefore cheating.

Jessica ascertains that any word accepted by the game and not ill-gotten through outside help is perfectly legal and that “letter crunching” is just a way to play in the brave new world of on-line gaming.

Who’s playing fair game, who’s making it up and where CAN I play this Q? Only one man can decide, Justice of the Game-Piece, Judge John Hodgman.

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EVIDENCE

One screenshot of her defending a choice in her game with Jesse (her username is Born2BeMild)

One screenshot of another recent game from Jesse with his mother, holding her to the same standards of knowing the definition to each word (his username is Tenthrow)

 

In this episode...

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