If you've been around me lately you know that I play scrabble via a facebook application that I've enthused about before. In the example at the right I'm the master scrabbler who makes words like NUT and SIT.
Suffice it to say that most opponents have nothing to worry about unless I get a lucky rack of letters. I'm not there to prove my spelling prowess.
Like most of the facebook applications I use, the idea behind it is connecting in some way not normally available to me.
And luckily enough for me, it turns out that tweaks in this game make for improved interaction during the game - beyond just moving letters around on a board and finding out who's got a great vocabulary and who's ruthless.
Before the changes I could send a little message to other players but it wasn't obvious if they didn't know it was there.
Now there's a scrolling screen at the right side of the playing board above the letter tiles I'm playing. Hard to miss it even though the type is still minuscule. The comments go back and forth, from the serious to the mundane.
So how does this address connectedness, outreach, community?
Imagine you want to chat about a possible collaboration, but in a way that feels like having drinks. Less focused on the project and more focused on interacting and making a connection. Bingo.
Or you know someone from twitter just well enough to respond back and forth a bit.
Playing scrabble with them and chatting on and off during the course of the game - which generally takes several days, with some players not making a move as often as others - could be just the way to make the move to being more than passing tweeters.
Might work for you. Game playing isn't always a bad thing.