Is Life More Like Scrabble or Bananagrams?
—Grace & Truth Linkup

Is life more like Scrabble or Bananagrams?

After reading Barbara’s beautiful post about the letter tiles for Scrabble (it’s our featured post today), I started thinking:

Is life more like Scrabble or Bananagrams?

Our daughter Jenna bought us Bananagrams for Christmas. Jeff and I have played game after game since then. We love it. 

Like Scrabble, Bananagrams also contains a pile of tiles with individual letters. Each player draws a specific amount of tiles to form words.

But there are many differences.

  • With Scrabble, you place your tiles on a board with designated squares. With Bananagrams, there is no board or squares.
  • With Scrabble, you take turns. I place a word on the board. Then you place a word on the same board involving a previous word. With Bananagrams, we’re both making words at the same time, but totally disconnected from each other, each in our own space.
  • With Scrabble, once a word is played, it stays there and can’t be changed for the remainder of the game. With Bananagrams, you can wipe out any word (or all your words) and start over at any time.
  • With Scrabble, whoever has the most points at the end of the game wins. With Bananagrams, the winner is whoever uses up all their letters first.

Which game is more like real life?

For now, I’m voting on Scrabble. While life isn’t always as neat and polite as the one turn at a time that Scrabble requires, it still is interdependent like Scrabble. You do something; I respond; you respond to that; etc. We’re intertwined. We’re dependent on each other.

But with Bananagrams, it’s basically each person for themself, alone on their island, until the game is called. It’s a race to the finish, regardless of who is playing beside you.

Individualism is fun for a competitive game, but I prefer companionship for a loving life.

(I don’t think Jesus would have a preference between playing Scrabble or Bananagrams. I’d love his companionship for both!)

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13 thoughts on “Is Life More Like Scrabble or Bananagrams?
—Grace & Truth Linkup

  1. Michele Morin

    I’ve been curious about Bananagrams! This is a fun post. And one alteration we have made to Scrabble is that we work together to see how high a score we can achieve together. Of course when the kids play, that would never fly!

  2. Barbara Harper

    Thanks so much for featuring my post! I have never played Bananagrams. I can see the attraction–you don’t have to worry about someone else taking the spot you wanted. 🙂 But I agree that life is probably more like Scrabble, where we don’t have full control and where there is interdependent movement, action and reaction. Sometimes it takes a lot of grace to change your plans and adapt because of the other person’s move. But we probably grow more that way than by doing our own thing.

    But I’d still love to play Bananagrams, if I could get anyone to play with me. I love word games.

  3. Lynn

    What a fun post! My Scrabble partner is incredibly good, so I like to play Bananagrams once in awhile because I have a chance of winning. 🙂 Sometimes in life, we need to retreat and get our work done without the influence of others (that may be a distraction or deterrent). So, I think life might be a combination of Bananagrams and Scrabble!

  4. David

    I’ve only just heard of Bananagrams. After a quick scan of the rules, I think it sounds rather individualistic and alienated. You can easily tweak the Scrabble rules to make the game cooperative instead of competitive (as another commenter has said already).

    Which letter would I be? One of those blank tiles: no points but helpful in any situation.

  5. Barb Hegreberg

    I adore a good board game analogy!

    I have never played Bananagrams but after reading this, I may need to purchase it in the near future.

    For the sake of argument, I would vote for the interdependence of Scrabble over a solitary pursuit any day.

  6. Donna

    Hmm, while I am an avid Scrabble fan, I tend to think our current society is more like Bananagrams-or perhaps the Book of Judges-every man did that which was right in his own eyes.
    I feel like for the most part without intentional effort we are a society that hides behind our computers and smartphones in a disconnected self -directed way.

    In fact even if I interact with you, I don’t always want to hear what you have to say…is more the vibe I get.

  7. Lesley

    That was a fun question to think about! At first, I was going to answer Bananagrams because it’s fast-paced and constantly-changing, but I like the points you made about Scrabble. We definitely need one another!

  8. Joanne

    I’ve never played Bananagrams but wanted to buy a set and use them with my kids while homeschooling. I never really enjoyed Scrabble when I was younger but having played Words With Friends for a few years now I’m getting quite good and really enjoy the challenge!

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