War With Words

Since I moved to Worthington two years ago, I have not stayed in contact with many of my friends and family from St. Cloud and Minneapolis. This is due to distance and a lot of my friends scattering around the country after college.
But there has been one thing that has kept me somewhat in contact with these people — the game “Words With Friends” that I play on my phone.
For the most part, it’s fun to chat and play this game with various friends.
But when my older brother, Jason, and I started playing this past summer, our much-buried sibling rivalry emerged in a passive- aggressive ,digital way.
It is an interesting rivalry. My brother has been a great “Scrabble” player (which is basically what “Words With Friends” is) for as long as I’ve known him. That is his advantage.
My advantage is that my job is to read and write every day, so I’m privy to words a lot of people probably do not use in casual, every-day conversations. (For instance, I love dropping the word “Tzar” on people because I can normally make that a 30-plus point word.)
At first, my brother and I were casual opponents, but something changed in the past few months.
Our victories, either his or mine, are usually crushing. Our games usually result in both of us raking up well over 300 to 400 points each.
And it went from one or two plays a day to consuming my time before work and after work.
As I wait to pick Gina up from work at 2 a.m., I spend a good couple of hours with my phone charging and playing my brother. We do chat a little while we play, but mostly we are just playing this game obsessively on our phones.
We have always been pretty competitive, but “Words With Friends” has brought out something more in our competitiveness. When I win, I’m like a football fan whose team has just won the Super Bowl.
Yet, I’m not like this when I play against anyone else. I guess things are different when it comes to competing with family.

Avatar of Joe Froemming

About Joe Froemming

I'm a reporter/copy editor for the Bemidji Pioneer. Previously, I worked for the Worthington Daily Globe as a copy editor and before that, I had a brief stint as the Fine Arts Columnist for the St. Cloud Times. I was born and raised in St. Cloud, a graduate of St. Cloud State University and worked in record stores for 10 years before wandering into the world of journalism. I live in Bemidji with my wife Gina and our cat, Mac. All the papers and towns mentioned above are located in Minnesota.
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One Response to War With Words

  1. Kathy says:

    I’m the same way with my brothers. No one else, just my brothers. In fact, usually when I play with others, I sometimes set up the triple word play – especially when I’m in the lead, because I don’t want to seem selfish. But my two brothers, can really bring “it” out in me. Good clean rivalry.

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