When I first downloaded the Boggle app, I was agog over all the unfamiliar words — AAL, AIS, ANE, etc. — the game showed me I could have found in the 16-letter jumbles. But a few hundred rounds later (yes, I’m obsessed), I’m more interested in the words the good people at Hasbro won’t let me play.
FART and CRAP are off limits.
So is SLUT, which seems downright prudish.
Stranger still is the exclusion of QUEER and POOF.
What’s going on here? All of these words are allowed in the Scrabble app, which, like Boggle, is published by Electronic Arts under a licensing agreement with Hasbro. Both games have multi-player modes, so it’s hard to understand why some words are considered too pejorative for the one and not the other.
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And what’s so bad about QUEER and POOF, anyway? Haven’t these words been reclaimed by the gay community, not to mention the fact that they also have totally different, non-gay-related meanings?
Hasbro responded to my interview request with this statement: “We want our games to be fun for everyone. We try to make family games like Boggle appropriate for all members of the family, so we’ve omitted some words from the app that we think some players might find offensive.”
So what do you think, word nerds? Is it just me, or is Hasbro’s overprotectiveness a little insulting?
And before you dismiss this as simply a kids’ game, consider that there used to be a Boggle TV show, hosted by none other than Wink Martindale, and played by, you guessed it, adults.
Maybe some of the contestants were even — dare I say — queer.