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My friends are dorks.
Three snippets of recent conversation:

Richard (getting dressed & pulling clean underwear out of a drawer): "I think these pants have had it. Look at the elastic! It's not elastic any more, it's undergoing plastic deformation!".

Me: "Hooke's Law in action!"

Tim (coming into our room as we were getting up): "Oh, you've got the big bear in bed with you!".

Richard (rolling over sleepily): "This is my bed! I always sleep here!".

Tim: "Perhaps I should have said 'the big bear (white)', to distinguish him from any big bears (brown)".

Peter (talking about somewhere they'd eaten recently): "It's quite a smart pub. They have games. We drank a bottle of wine and played Scrabble."

Tim: "Only the pieces were muddled up like they came from several different sets."

Peter: "So you could draw a Q and put it on the board, and then draw another Q."

Tim: "There was one tile which was the same size as a normal Scrabble tile, but had letters on both sides. And another one which was 1/4 of the size of a normal Scrabble tile, with the number 4 on it."

Richard: "For all of those words with a 4 in, obviously."

Tim: Maybe it was from a set of Chemistry Scrabble!

Richard: "You could have double and triple atom score, and double and triple bond score..."

Tim: "But would you be allowed free radicals? That's the question."

Me: "I don't think so. Anything can be a radical - CH3 dot would be too cheaty. It would have to be actual molecules and compounds only."

Richard: "You'd be screwed if you drew helium, though."

Me: "I guess it would have to be no Noble Gases."

Richard: "It would be even better if it used organic notation with all those zigzag lines. You'd be able to add a benzene ring to the end of any atom on the board!"

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Current Mood: amused amused

8 comments or Leave a comment
turkish_coffee From: turkish_coffee Date: 18th January 2010 09:16 (UTC) (Link)
Wouldn't benzene be worth next to nothing then?

I mean, uh, I completely could not follow any of this at all. Nope. Not me...
baratron From: baratron Date: 18th January 2010 23:35 (UTC) (Link)
Actually, it would be pretty much pointless having a Scrabble-type game with organic chemistry notation, because it's almost always possible to extend an organic molecule in some way. You could keep going with the same giant compound until you ran out of pieces. So the game would be based purely on luck rather than skill.

I do like the idea of having 2 sets of tiles though, element symbols and numbers, and having to combine them to make meaningful compounds. C and H would be the cheapest elements, then O and N. Assuming that it only included relatively common elements, things like arsenic and selenium would have the highest point scores.

I wonder what the exact wording of the patent on Scrabble is?
turkish_coffee From: turkish_coffee Date: 19th January 2010 04:23 (UTC) (Link)
Well, it's U.S. Patent class 463 "AMUSEMENT DEVICES: GAMES"

It would differ by country, but in the U.S. you're allowed to patent an order in which a sandwich is assembled (provided no one else has, yet).

Patents are, I think, also harder to infringe on. Scrabble (I think, don't quote me here) was first marketed as a "word" or "spelling" game. As your game requires no words or spelling (and I happen to know for a fact that at least in the U.S. you can't copyright individual letters of the alphabet) you would be fine.

So, given that I don't think you can patent patent...

• Letters of the alphabet
• Squares
• Colors

I think you'd be alright.

Mostly, you would need to worry about the method of scoring, as that is most likely included in it. If it's too familiar, you could use hex-tiles instead of squares, which could allow for a slight change in mechanics, but could be different enough that you could patent it.

A card game could work as well (but you'd have no double electron score tiles, then).

Oh, and you'd always be able to play Neutronium (provided it counts as a legitimate chemical element, but after a half hour of scrabble, I'll count "Porworstaflibble" just so some one can win already...)
From: redbird Date: 18th January 2010 14:53 (UTC) (Link)
That sounds surreal; it makes playing Scrabble in English with a French-language set, using the French point values, seem very ordinary.
turkish_coffee From: turkish_coffee Date: 18th January 2010 23:17 (UTC) (Link)
Do the French have a "ç" tile? How did that work in English? As a wildcard?
From: redbird Date: 19th January 2010 02:53 (UTC) (Link)
No, just the basic A to Z; cedillas and other accents are ignored.
maniackatie From: maniackatie Date: 18th January 2010 15:39 (UTC) (Link)
"My friends are dorks."

And I bet you wouldn't have 'em any other way XD
baratron From: baratron Date: 18th January 2010 23:25 (UTC) (Link)
I certainly wouldn't be able to relate to them if they were "normal"!
8 comments or Leave a comment