A blog for fans of Bananagrams, word games, puzzles, and amazing things

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Meet Kigonagrams: Bananagrammy thing & online haiku toy

The simple, elegant design of Bananagrams tiles lends them to a wide range of activities. They are perfect for rapidly sliding around a table as you race to build words faster than your opponents in a frenzy of QATs and JETs and ZOOs. And they are also perfect for less focused, more creative play, like building little Bananagrams sculptures or composing Bananagrams poetry.

It was this last activity that inspired a design student named Fred Truman to program an online environment for rearranging letter tiles into haikus. It's called Kigonagrams, a name that Truman explains as
the combination of anagrams (or obviously bananagrams) and kigo, which are words or phrases associated with a particular season used in Japanese poetry.
Kigonagrams starts off by giving you a randomly selected haiku, like this: And then it sets you loose to play with the tiles, so you can make something like this:
The controls for resetting the tiles to their original positions and requesting a new set of tiles are way at the bottom of the page.

The grayed-out "tweet your haiku @kigonagrams" is an encouragement, but also an indication of a possible future feature.

The most fun part for me was dragging one tile into others and watching as a bunch of tiles got pushed out of position. This kind of physics modelling is a feature that would be cool to see in other online word games someday.

Further reading: