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Words With Friends: Alec Baldwin gives the addictive game a boost

Alec Baldwin (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Words With Friends, which can be played on Facebook or mobile phones, had already been described as a “phenomenon” last year, when it was one of the fastest-growing apps, according to Tech Crunch. Today, it has approximately 12.5 million monthly active users on Facebook, according to

According to AppData, over the last seven days, 200,000 people started playing the game on Facebook — 100,000 of them in the last day alone. Zynga spokesperson Marideth Post wasn’t able to release any specific numbers because the company is in a quiet period as it prepares to go public for a $10 billion valuation.

This isn’t the first time that the game has gotten a boost from a celebrity — it has plenty of Hollywood fans. John Mayer was the first to promote the game when he tweeted in 2009 that the game is “The New Twitter.”

"Let Alec Play," Zynga's response to Alec Baldwin getting kicked off a flight for playing the addictive game. (Courtesy Zynga)

What’s the big fuss about a game that is essentially just Scrabble? Users say that the game is addictive — “The crystal meth of language games,” says Cracked — because it taps into your social network, allowing you to play with strangers or friends. You can take as long as you want to make your next turn, too, so you can take your time to dream up complicated and high-scoring words to play. Cracked notes that a few words, such as texting, goths and lucite, are missing from Words With Friends’ dictionary.

YOUR TAKE: What’s your #gamerstory?

Tweet Are you among one the crazed Words With Friends fans? Have you ever risked getting in trouble (or thrown off a flight) just to play an addictive game? Tell us on Twitter, use the hashtag #gamerstory. We’ll include some of your responses right here.

Maura Judkis covers culture, food, and the arts for the Weekend section and Going Out Guide.


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