Meet your new online addiction

As soon as the telegraph was invented, people used it to play long-distance chess games. Plus ça change: Thanks to the Website Scrabulous, one of our favorite board games, Scrabble, has now become a fabulous online addiction. Created by RJ Softwares last year, the site lets people anywhere on earth play online games against each other in real time, free of charge. The matches are quick, and the community of players seems genuinely nice: One opponent kindly pointed out that we shouldn’t waste a blank tile for a word that was worth only 11 points.

Scrabulous tweaks the Scrabble experience just enough for the Web age — a countdown timer, in particular, makes every match into a tournament-style race against the clock, and the online dictionary can instantly reveal whether the word you’ve played is actually a word. Before Scrabulous, we were moderate, occasional Scrabble fans; now we’re well on our way to becoming bona fide Scrabble geeks.

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Meet your new online addiction