Did Scrabble rules change?

ScrabbleRecently it was announced that the rules of Scrabble were changing, and players would in future be able to use proper nouns in the game, which has never been allowed before.  The change would mean that previously-illegal proper nouns, including celebrity names, brands, and company names would be acceptable.  The justification from game company Mattel was that they wanted to attract players from younger generations, and thought that allowing players to use names would achieve this end.  I was a little bit unsure of how I felt about this, because I’m sure I’ve had occasions where I wanted to play a proper noun as my word, but there’s definitely a difference between playing ‘Vatican‘ and ‘Beyonce‘.

Just after I read this, I read another article that said that the rules would remain the same, and that the news of the rule change was an exaggeration of the truth, which is that Mattel is planning to release an entirely different game called Scrabble Trickster, where anything goes, including proper nouns and words spelled backwards.  I’m not sure if this was just all a big marketing ploy, but I think a sigh of relief may have been heard throughout the Scrabble-playing world.

I’m also not sure if changing rules like this would justify an entirely new game.  Surely you could just play different rules with the same equipment?  Which reminds me of this cartoon, which made me giggle.

Does Scrabble matter to you?