Correction: An earlier version of this story said that Mattel is the company that makes Scrabble. The game is manufactured in the United States and Canada by Hasbro and by Mattel in the rest of the world.
Well, changes may be coming to these two much-loved, much-played board games.
If you’re a fan of the word-building game Scrabble, then you know how great it is when you can land a word like xylophone and put the “x” on a triple-score space. That’s 24 points for one letter!
Researcher Joshua Lewis says that the points assigned to Scrabble tiles are based on how often letters were used in U.S. newspapers in the 1930s. He has created a program for calculating the values of the letters based on how they’re used today. According to his model, “x” (worth eight points now) should be worth only five, and “z” (10 points now) should be worth six. “G,” worth two points in the original formula, would be worth three in Lewis’s system.
Hasbro, the company that produces Scrabble in North America, says it has no plans to change the letter values.
But Hasbro is planning changes to another of its games, Monopoly. Or at least changes to the pieces you use to play it.
The current game pieces are a car, a shoe, a Scottie dog, a battleship, a hat, an iron, a wheelbarrow and a thimble. The company is having fans vote on Facebook, and the piece that gets the fewest votes will be removed from the game. (Ask your parents to vote for you if you want to save your favorite piece.) The piece that is removed will be replaced with one of the following: a cat, a diamond ring, a guitar, a helicopter or a toy robot.
Voting continues until February 5.