Computer games addictive

I may have developed an addiction.

I Boggle when I should be doing other things.

I while back I downloaded a Boggle game app on my iPad and began to play endlessly in single player “Quick Play” mode. I do it while watching television. I do it before I go to bed at night and sometimes even get in a game in the morning since I left the iPad on my nightstand. Heck, I even played a game while I was writing this column.

I loved the tabletop game of the same name. The original had a cube with lettered tiles that you shook and they all settled flat in the tray. Then you wrote down words formed by connecting adjacent tiles that could be up, down, diagonal or right-angled. Words with more letters are worth more and when the sandglass timer ran out everyone stopped writing words. You compared the words by marking off the ones others had then totaled up your score off the unique words you found.

I was always the winner at Boggle but then my wife would make me play Trivial Pursuit, where she was always the winner. Finally after a week of frustrating attempts to compete with each other we would switch to dominoes where either of us could win.

The iPad is great for playing games like Boggle, Can Knockdown, Tetris, Solitaire and Checkers. My wife, even though she hated getting beat at Boggle, will also play the game nonstop on the iPad.

Man versus computer gaming lept to new levels this week as a computer beat the best players in the world at “Jeopardy!” The announcement that the computer had won a new car wasn’t met with the same enthusiasm as human game show winners, though.

My wife and I have found a few games to play together on the iPad, we could even Boggle in multiple-player mode but it’s not quite the same as sitting on the floor or at the dining room table over a board game.

Taunting the iPad isn’t nearly as satisfying as getting in my wife’s face after a game of Wahoo. Of course my iPad has never attacked the game board, scattering tiles or marbles everywhere when defeat was imminent. I guess they’ll probably program that into a new HD app soon though.