Scrabble has finally decided to ban offensive words and racial slurs from competitive play, but some seem to disagree.
Scrabble owners Hasbro and the North American Scrabble Players Association (NASPA) have made the bold decision to ban anti-black racial slurs from the game.
To the outside world, it seems like a no-brainer, but for many fans of table games and competitive players, it is a controversial move that will send waves throughout the Scute community for years to come. Many fear the censorship is unwarranted and unnecessary, arguing that the intent behind the use of these words is not motivated by hate but by scoring points. The argument that such words are contained in the English language does not carry much weight either, especially since racial slurs have not been part of the official discourse. Scrabble Dictionary since 1994.
The problem in question focused on competitive gambling sanctioned by NASPA. NASPA’s 192,111 authorized word lexicon is different from Scrabble dictionary designed for home play. This will be a situation reflected by other governing bodies around the world who organize tournaments and maintain their own official lexicon. Technically, Hasbro has no control over any of these lists. The fear, however, is that he will still be able to influence and pressure organizations to comply. The right to use the name Scrabble belongs to Hasbro and even the remote possibility of denying this right is too great to be disputed.
According to The New York TimesHasbro spokeswoman Julie Duffy confirmed that NASPA had “agreed to remove insults from their word list.” She also added that Hasbro would update the rulebook contained in retail copies of Scrabble “To make it clear that insults are not allowed in any form of game”. Unfortunately, there does not appear to be a clear consensus on the reasons for this decision.
There is no doubt that many agree that this is the right course of action. Hateful words – whether or not they are used intentionally – always hurt. After all, the pen is mightier than the sword. Anything that can be done to improve the game at home and in competition is for sure to benefit everyone.
Source: The New York Times
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