Need something to do at your next get-together? Do you have a house full of bored children on a rainy afternoon? The time-tested word game may just be what you're looking for!
before the advent of board games and video game consoles,
simple games involving language
delighted all classes in society, from the well-to-do to the
poorest of the poor. Many today still argue
that word games provide a far richer, more rewarding experience
than what can be had through manufacturing and digital
technology. Word games are certainly cheaper too, often
requiring little to no equipment to play, other than perhaps pen
Here are links to descriptions of 131 word games (note: this
page is actively updated; there will be
250+ word games when complete). These descriptions
indicate the number of players, whether the game is written
and/or verbal, how it is played, and what equipment (if any) is
required. The goal of each game is summarized in a single
sentence, followed by a more detailed description of game play.
In many cases an illustration or example using fictional players
is provided to give a better sense of actual play. You'll see
that while some games play with the meanings of words, others
play with their sounds. Still others play with spelling or the
letters of words, requiring players to rearrange them into
different letter sequences. There are also games based on the
alphabet, and games where players must fit words into predefined
patterns or interlocking grids.
Some word games are competitive. But in many of these games everyone is a winner, where deriving pleasure from the mental stimulation, the challenge, and the social interaction is the real objective. It all depends on how you approach word games. Remember, there is nothing stopping you from adapting the rules to suit your own tastes. But make sure you agree with your fellow players beforehand on whether proper nouns, foreign words, abbreviations, etc. will be permitted. Deciding on a suitable dictionary to use is also very helpful in avoiding disputes.