Everybody uses slang, but you can’t use those words in games like Scrabble. So Ludacris, the hip hop entertainer, is launching a new word game on mobile today dubbed Slang N’ Friendz.
In this Scrabble-like game, you can play slang words from any culture around the world, so long as it fits in the game’s dictionary of nearly 10,000 words. It a fun concept for a game, and it’s also a statement about how games should reflect the way real people talk, said Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, in an interview with GamesBeat.
“I was always a fan of Scrabble way before the competitors like Words With Friends came in. I am in the hip hop world. We have created words that ended up in the dictionary because they were slang. Pop culture dictates the rest of the culture. I felt it was necessary that our own vocabulary be added to the dictionary, like an urban dictionary. We want to fill a void with the word.”
The goal is the “slangify” the world and get around the frustration of not being able to play familiar words in games. Ludacris collaborated with Edwin Benton, who started working on the game four years ago. He developed the game under the Cat Apps brand with Ludacris.
“Edwin is the mastermind behind the ideas here,” Ludacris said. “He got it to the point where I saw I would love to partner with him. It fits my lifestyle and I saw I could help promote it. I added my ideas and input and it was a perfect partnership. Edwin brought it to the table.”
You can play traditional words as well as slang. It has curse words, as the game lets people express themselves any way they want. If people want a kids version, Benton said the team will consider that.
“We want to launch and see what the users want,” Benton said. “To play vulgar words, you have to have those titles. Most words that people play aren’t vulgar terms. Once we launch, we’ll see what users tell us.”
The game will update as you go. You can earn badges along the way. You can work your way up. If you play the most slang in your city, you’ll be at the top of the leaderboard.
Players will be able to customize the backgrounds. Over time, people will be able to add slang words. Ludacris provided some voice overs for the game.
The game has a built-in marketing advantage, as Ludacris has 11.8 million followers on Twitter alone.
Ludacris said, “I’ll be cross-promoting it. That’s a part of pop culture. I love all social media. As technology goes on, more and more of them come. As they compete with each, it’s interesting to see.”
The game is free, and it encourages people to explore both traditional and alternate words, express themselves while simultaneously transforming the word game genre. The game provides slang
definitions, customization features and allows users to add new words to the game. Whether it’s slang from today or the past, from the U.S. or abroad, Slang N’ Friendz claims it will have it.
The game’s motto? United We Slang! And indeed, slang is universal around the world.
“In a time when so much of the world is divided, technology has the opportunity to bring us together,” Ludacris said. “Slang N’ Friendz encourages users to connect, be friendly and identify what they have in common through language. It’s also a chance for different generations to learn about each other’s unique forms of communication and find ways to use language to bridge generation gaps.”
The title has an in-game currency which you can purchase with real money or earn over time. You can use it to buy abilities such as a peek inside the tile pile to see which letters remain. Right now the game is in English, but Benton hopes to add more languages over time.
As for his favorite slang, Ludacris said, “I like ‘it’s lit.’ It’s a double entendre. It’s like it’s jumping, on fire. The party is very energetic.”
I wouldn’t have gotten that one. I need the version for old folks. Some of the slang dates back to the 1800s. I can handle some of that.