#HashtagGames (aka: Social Media Without the Social)

Ready everyone? It’s time to play a hashtag game! Today’s challenge: #RejectedHeroSidekicks .

No, I am not kidding. That is an actual trending hashtag on Twitter today. Here are a couple of my favorite contributions:

For those of you who are like me and prefer your social media without much of the social part, participating in #Hashtag games can be a lot of fun, and a pressure-free way to interact with strangers around the globe.

These games seem to pop up randomly, and spread like wildfire around the Twitterverse until they appear in the list of top trending tweets. They sometimes originate with organized hashtag game groups, like the now retired @midnight, or @TheHashtagGame. Other times, they begin with a celebrity comedian, or even ordinary folks who managed to kindle a hashtag fire while bored at work one day.

Most #Hashtag games are simple, and easy to jump into. For example, #FriendsTVin5Words drew all sorts of Friends TV show fans out of their shells, and was so fun to play.

Another good one was #MakeaMovieSmarter:

Some #hashtags seem to get recycled from time to time, such as #RuinaBandWithOneLetter or #AddBacontoaMovie . And once in a blue moon, you get an esoteric #Hashtag game that requires you to be very clever, or maybe have a college degree to play. My favorites? #Doublewise (Best #Hashtag ever!!) and #LessAmbitiousCriterion (Most of you are probably scratching your heads right now. WTH is Criterion?).

Why play #Hashtag Games? Well, for starters, it’s a great way to express your creativity. Or, for the less-creative, to push yourself to think creatively for the amusement of others. Secondly, you can get a good laugh from hashtagging. There is a world of clever, creative people out there who are just dying to share their humor with you. Besides, science has proven that laughter can reduce stress and improve your quality of life. It also makes the workday go by a little faster. Not that I’m advocating playing Twitter games during the workday.

Anyway, ready to stretch your imagination? Let’s go tag some hashes!

Word Games and Wars (aka My Obsession With Scrabble)

I am in love with language. From the simplest colloquial phrases to the most complex, underused words in the dictionary, language fascinates me. Conversation is not enough to satisfy my thirst for words. I am also compelled to read, read, read. And when reading fails to satisfy, I turn to writing. But where do I turn when even writing is not enough to quell this burning, twisting, obsessive passion for words?

Scrabble.

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Yes, that’s right, Scrabble. Certainly, any word game will do in a pinch–Boggle, Bananagrams, etc. But there is something about playing online Scrabble, facing off against unseen opponents in the ultimate death match. We taunt each other with trash talk (Bring it on, baby!). For weapons, we hurl words like zanza, djin, and qi (yes, qi is an actual word, although I am pretty sure it is only used in the Scrabble world). We drop weapons like word hooks, or double letter scores, or even better–the triple word score (Booyah! Take that!). When you really wish to finish off your opponent, you can pull out the most powerful, destructive weapon of them all: The Bingo. Though it can be really difficult to create a word using all seven letters, and equally challenging to find a place to play it, the 50-point bonus score makes it totally worthwhile. It is the cyber-Scrabble equivalent of dropping an atomic bomb (BAM! How do you like me now, baby?).

Ooohh…all this talk about word games is giving me a crazy urge to head to the Scrabble arena and start battling. My favorite opponent has just taken his turn–Aliyos, for 23 points. But no worries, I can take him. Does anyone else dare to challenge me in a game of Scrabble? Just look me up on Origin — user name MochaCanela. But beware…I am very hard to beat. Study your dictionary first, and may the odds be ever in your favor. 😉

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