Musharraf Ali Farooqi, a novelist and translator, has created the online Urdu word game www.hijjay.com based on the word scramble format.
When a player initially launches the game by typing hijjay.com into their browser, it displays six Urdu letters from which they must construct 20 words to advance through the first level. Each word must have a minimum of three letters.
The list of words below the word scramble keeps growing until all 20 words have been added. Any word can be clicked to access the Urdu Lughat Board dictionary, which provides definitions and examples of usage.
Every day, users discover a new set of letters, and each set generates around 47 words from the user’s 46,000-word vocabulary bank. A group of three persons, including Farooqi, add new words to the reservoir every day.
The vocabulary pool and daily letter puzzle both changes. The lexicon is also expanded to include well-known English terms like service and rent that have assimilated into spoken Urdu.
By selecting a link in the information area, users can also submit their new word ideas.
“Many people tell me that their kids play the game and study Urdu. Since the game can be played anywhere there is free time, many Pakistani ex-pats have also found it to be entertaining, said Farooqi in an interview with Dawn.
He claims that the game now links to the Urdu Lughat Board lexicon, but that it will soon link to a new digital dictionary he is developing. He notes that the new dictionary will include couplets (Ashaa’r), idioms, proverbs, synonyms, and antonyms. Both the dictionary and the game will have applications.
The kids’ version of the game, which would feature graded vocabulary for various grades, is another project we are working on. The kids can choose their grades based on where they are at.
According to Farooqi, the goal of the game is to make Urdu exciting and appealing to younger generations and online users. He confesses that 2009 was when the project initially entered his mind. But there was no platform to finish it, so he worked on it sporadically.
The project has a commercial component; an integrated dictionary may be made into eBooks.
According to Farooqi, hijjay may eventually evolve into a network game. The tale would be expanded upon as well, although such additions and changes have not yet been determined.
Farooqi completed the whole project on his own and wants to maintain both the online game and the app free of advertisements, claiming that the majority of users are turned off by the commercials. However, if he can get any sponsors, he would be grateful.
Since its release in October of this year, the game has been played anywhere there are Urdu speakers. According to Farooqi, there are roughly 10,000 users worldwide. Awais Athar, the technical advisor of storykit.com, a business operated by Farooqi, assisted him in creating the game.