Sunday, June 5, 2011

Words with Creepy Strangers

I'm obsessed with Words with Friends. I'm a self-proclaimed Words addict.

For those of you living under rocks, Words with Friends is a Scrabble-esque application on the iPhone, iTouch, iPad, Droid phones, and probably some other platforms of which I'm unaware.

You play it just like regular Scrabble, complete with double letter and triple word scores and a 7-letter queue of tiles you choose from during each of your turns. So many people have this application on some platform by now that most of them have enough games going simultaneously with people they actually know to get their fix.

For some Words with Friends crackheads, however, that's not enough. They need to have the maximum amount of games going at the same time as they possibly can (which is 20 games by the way, I'm always at the limit).

To accomplish this, one is forced to sometimes create games with a "random opponent." In other words, some other Words aficionado out there in cyberspace who is just sitting on his or her phone waiting for the game requests to come in.

I started one such game this morning.

I've started many games of this type, and they usually just fall into my game list and blend in among the other games with people I do actually know.

But not this game.

About ten or so moves into this game, I noticed that the little green chat bubble had 3 new messages from this RANDOM Words with Friends opponont (yes, you can "chat" instant- message-style with anyone you're playing with).

I found that a little bit odd, but sometimes even random strangers like to comment on a particularly awkward board or a really baller word you just played.

But not this girl.

When I opened up the chat window, I had to read through the messages twice because I was so taken aback.

This person,"tatiana," was BERATING me for not playing back fast enough. Now, this MIGHT, in some alternate universe, be sorta, kinda, maybe, acceptable if I had taken hours or even days to play a word back to this girl. That was not the case though. She had made her last move literally four minutes prior to these messages coming in.

At first I was a little peeved I was getting yelled at, since I pride myself on having a pathetic enough life to be able to play people back in this game within minutes of their move coming into my phone.

But then I just laughed, because this person was obviously 12 years old, or pretending to be, and I decided to engage in the conversation for a little while. I took screen shots of the whole shebang because I was so amused.

After messaging back and forth with her a few times, I wanted to tell her that she couldn't be more than 14 years old because she reminds me of my 9th grade students from last semester. But you know what? That would be an insult to my awesome 9th graders.

Who does this? Who asks for a stranger's real name in an online Scrabble game chat window?

Oh, thank God she's *not* a freak!

I couldn't have crammed more stereotypical preteen word vomit into one message if I had made it up myself.

Ohhh, okay. She has an iPod Touch, NOT an iPhone. That changes everything!

I know she asked me to quit the game over three hours ago, but as of now she's still just lingering in Words with Friends purgatory out of spite.

Here's hoping for better luck with future random opponents, and if you ever happen to receive a request for a random game with "tatiana1228," I'd advise not accepting that invitation.

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