I don't know about you, but when I'm getting my ass kicked in games like Words With Friends, I rarely play people I don't know, and when I do play someone who I don't know from a can of paint, I'm not talking to them. That could be because they are usually kicking my ass, but that's beside the point. According to one viral tweet, a 22-year-old Harlem-based, Maryland-born man by the name of Spencer Sleyon has befriended an 81-year-old woman from Florida, Rosalind "Roz" Guttman, over the popular app.
so last summer i randomly met this 80 y/o woman on words with friends. we played 300+ games together and she actually ended up becoming a good friend of mine. today i got to go to florida and meet her in person💜 pic.twitter.com/VXDbNS4eUo— High Class Filth (@Filth800) December 1, 2017
In one of those situations of "this viral tweet has got to be too good to be true," the folks at The Root reached out to Sleyon, who says that Guttman's use of the word "phat" in one of their early games was the catalyst for their friendship. Word is that Guttman loved the "masterful alliteration" of Sleyon's username, FUCKFACEFILTH.
"One day I searched for a random game," Sleydon told The Root, "and that’s how I ended up finding her. And we pretty much played every day for five months." While pointing out that he'd win around 60 percent of their games, he said their conversations were about "nothing extra personal," although when he asked her about possibly moving to New York, she hit him with some dope advice: "Always reach for the stars."
Reverend Amy Butler of Riverside Church in New York City overheard her daughter talking to Spencer about his best friend being an 80-year-old woman living in Florida, and she decided to connect Roz and Spencer ("because I’m in the business of bringing people together," Butler said).
She’s 86 & lives in a retirement community in Florida. He’s 22 and lives in Harlem. They met online playing #wordswithfriends. Tomorrow they’ll meet in person. I get to be there. #relationshipschangeus pic.twitter.com/xNJjK3ga6H— Amy Butler (@PastorAmyTRC) December 1, 2017
Butler and Sleyon flew to Florida on a Thursday and spent the subsequent Friday with Guttman, eating at her favorite restaurant and taking a tour of her neighborhood. Sleyon's tweet featuring four photos of himself and Guttman have, at the time of this writing, hit almost 240K retweets and over 1 million likes.
Zynga, the company that made Words With Friends, are unsurprisingly in love with this story. Here's a statement from Zynga CEO Frank Gibeau: "Spencer and Roz’s story is a wonderful illustration of how powerful games can be in bringing people together across generations and geographies. Since launching eight years ago, Words With Friends is an incredible platform for connection."
One has to imagine this is the greatest story for an app like Words With Friends; it's about having fun with people you've previously established as being your friends, as well as a way to foster new friendships through random play. Hopefully Roz and Spencer will continue to enjoy the game, and each other's friendship. Oh, and here's to Roz hopefully narrowing the win-loss gap.