Drawn to Draw Something

I’ve never played an online game. Usually, I’m only vaguely aware of what’s popular. But as of Friday, I’m thoroughly hooked on Draw Something, which my teens and spouse invited me to play.

Tonight I learned I’m not alone. USA Today’s Mark Salzman calls it the “hottest game since Angry Birds.” How hot? Fifty million downloads in fifty days plus a $180 million sale to Zynga, the company that also owns Words With Friends, Farmville and other games so famous even I recognize their names.

If you haven’t played Draw Something, it’s simple: you draw something to help the other player guess one of three words. There are two clues for guessing besides the drawing: a pool of possible letters and boxes indicating word length.

You watch each other play. The drawing (every stroke, even erasures and aborted drawings) or the guessing are replayed for the other person, which creates an uncanny affinity between players. I love that!

Other reasons Draw Something appeals to me:

–It’s asynchronous and there are no timers, so no pressure.

–It’s cooperative. You aren’t trying to “beat” or fool the other player, because you both benefit from a successful drawing/guessing combo. It’s a positive experience for both players.

–It’s quick, although CNN interviewed a man who spends two hours a day on Draw Something. That said, his drawings are a bit more detailed than mine.

–It’s challenging but simple, fun for any skill level. (Note to the person who posted that last example: in 99% of the world, that is indeed a perfect rendering of football).

–It combines nostalgia (it reminds me of Pictionary and hangman) with intuitive technology. Even for someone who finds most technology unintuitive.

So here’s something this nocturnal librarian never imagined saying: I recommend the hottest game around, Draw Something.