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'Words With Friends' can lead to romance, or awkwardness

Zynga

Zynga's "Words With Friends" is more popular than ever. The social gaming giant's take on "Scrabble" allows pals to see whose vocabulary skills are greater. But it also has the potential to let people become more than just friends.

A survey of more than 100,000 players, called "Words With Friends With Benefits," shows why that's the case in the following infographic from Zynga:

Perhaps most notable is how 1 out of 10 players say "Words With Friends" has directly led to a casual sexual encounter. Also, words do matter: 38 percent of respondents claim that they would hook up with someone that shows skill in the game, and 24 percent of players have exchanged their in-game handles instead of phone numbers.

To further accentuate the potential of romance that lies within the game, the notifications sent between players have also been peppered for the occasion. Though what might be cute to Zynga is somewhat creepy to others, as in the case of Jonathan Woods, msnbc.com's associate multimedia editor, who received the following from his brother earlier Tuesday morning:

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Matthew Hawkins is an NYC-based game journalist who has also written for EGM, GameSetWatch, Gamasutra, Giant Robot, and numerous others. He also self-publishes his own game culture zine, is part of Attract Mode, and co-hosts The Fangamer Podcast. You can keep tabs on him via Twitter, or his personal home-base, FORT90.com.