Zynga, the creative studio behind “Words with Friends,” and Planet Word, a D.C. museum centered around words and language, have announced an exciting collaboration entitled “LOL With Friends,” accompanied by an on-site activation display at Planet Word on September 18.
“LOL With Friends” is a video-series based around a card game meant to make players laugh (or strain not to), while simultaneously learning some new vocabulary. The video content series, hosted by coveted internet personalities Carolina & Isaiah, Zoe’s All Booked and Irish Reader will be uploaded to the “Words with Friends” YouTube channel.
“The thing that we want to get across [with “LOL With Friends”] is how delightful words can be. And how much fun we can have with them,” Emily Gref, Planet Word’s manager of curatorial affairs, says.
The on-site activation will take place in the museum’s Friedman Family Auditorium, and will feature a range of activities related to the content series. Word trivia, a themed gumball machine, and potentially even a copy of the “LOL With Friends” card game await visitors this Saturday at Planet Word — alongside the digital launch content.
The object of the game is simple: players must make up a comical definition for a variety of word-prompts, and the first player to make their opponent laugh wins. The words themselves are fairly unusual words from the deep, uncharted depths of a Merriam-Webster — giving players the opportunity to really stretch their imaginations. No bonus points if you actually know the definition, though. Flaunting isn’t funny.
The game is meant to dive the players head-first into an exercise with language, strengthening vernacular (and comedic) muscles in a fun and engaging manner. A central mission of Planet Word is to empower visitors with tools to explore the vast expanses of human language showing them how to appreciate language as an everyday artform. The collaboration that produced “LOL With Friends” will be one of the many vehicles they use to arrive at that desired destination.
“One of the things we say at Planet Word is, you know, we’re a museum that can cover everything because we do everything through language,” Gref says. “‘Words with Friends’ [and] Planet Word have this shared fascination with words and delight in words. And so [we’re] taking these obscure words that most people don’t use every day and thinking, ‘Okay, how can we make this fun?’”
As mutual language-lovers, “Words with Friends” and Planet Word made for a perfect match for collaboration. Zynga, with “Words with Friends” being one of the world’s most popular word-based games, is intimately familiar with the same appreciation for the beauty of words and language that fuels the mission of Planet Word. Zynga is always on the lookout for fellow language-lovers, and when they heard about Planet Word’s opening last year, they knew they had to reach out and share ideas.
“On the Planet Word side, it’s exciting to be able to tap into the “Word with Friends” audience and let them know about this incredible museum that’s here in D.C.,” Gref says. “That if you’re a word-nerd, there’s a place for you.”
In the future, “Words with Friends” and Planet Word hope to continue collaborating on creative, “word-nerd” ventures. For now, you can enjoy the “LOL With Friends” series at home, or housed within Planet Word.
The LOL With Friends launch will take place at Planet Word on September 18. You can register for a day at the museum here.
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