Scrabble and Pictionary have announced a new rule in the hope of eliminating any potential cheating, while fostering more engaging moments among players.
Mattel, the creator of the iconic games, announced on Monday all players must place their mobile phones into the empty box lid while playing.
“The new rule aims to eliminate any distractions – and potential cheating! – promising a fun night in with family or friends,” the company said in a press release.
The new rule comes amid the coronavirus pandemic, where Australians are spending more time on the internet or glued to their mobile phones than ever before.
The lockdowns saw usage of mobile phones and the internet spike by 70 to 80 per cent, compared to February.
The new rule hopes to encourage Australians to ‘disconnect to reconnect’, by setting aside their mobile phones and bonding through gameplay.
Mattel said it recognises the importance of spending time with friends and family and creating ‘meaningful memories’, while also understanding doing so can be difficult.
Putting aside mobile devices to allow for face-to-face communication is important for relationship building and interpersonal skills, Melbourne Counsellor and Psychotherapist Georgina Manning said.
“Mattel’s new rule calling for Australians to disconnect from tech when playing Pictionary and Scrabble will help drive mindfulness and wellbeing – bringing people together emotionally,” she said.
“Regular gameplay not only has a powerful impact on cognitive skills and memorisation, but it helps open the lines of communication creating lasting positive memories.”
Mattel ANZ Director of Marketing Jacinta Whitehead said the company was proud to implement the new rule, especially during this time where it is “critical” we find ways to connect.
“The new rule change reminds Australians to take a break from their screens, connect together with those in our home, and be fully engaged in play,” she said in a statement.
“When we disconnect from technology we can appreciate each other’s company, and of course have lots of fun too.”
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