After more than 25 years managing, marketing and refereeing the competitive side of America’s most venerated word game, the National Scrabble Association has packed up its tiles and gone out of business.
Its demise doesn’t reflect a lack of interest in Scrabble, which turns 65 this year. The game has never been more popular. More than a million people, from kids to hipsters to nonagenarians, play daily on Facebook. In May, nearly 200 students in fourth through eighth grades competed in the National School Scrabble Championship. On Saturday, more than 500 die-hards, myself included, will gather in Las Vegas for the National Scrabble Championship, a five-day, 31-game anagrammatic marathon.
Instead, the death of Scrabble’s organizing body — which closed on July 1 following years of declining financial support from Hasbro, the game’s owner — reflects a broader conflict between corporate and intellectual forces in American cultural life. (Photo: Sam Potts)