The Weekly Stripe 11.09.20
Sales of the boardgames Pandemic rocketed when Covid-19 hit earlier this year. Scott Beattie reflects on how games have been a useful distraction from hardship since the Greeks played knuckle-bone in times of famine, and offer a safe way to strategise a way out of complex real world problems.
Did you know that the first version of Operation started out life as a quest for water around a board game desert? This quick history traces the ‘complete the circuit’ game back to mid 1700s, spotlighting the evolutions of this game technology over time.
The story of Monopoly’s original creator Lizzie Magie has been put back into the history of the game by the book ‘The Monopolists: Obsession, Fury and the Scandal behind the world’s favourite board game’. The irony that she lost out on the patent to board game giants the Parker Brothers is sadly fitting.
As the popularity of computer gaming has risen, so too has ‘insistently analog’ board games like Settlers of Catan. Invented by dental technician Klaus Teuber in the 1980s, it has become the US’s biggest gateway into ‘Eurogames’ – the antithesis to digital games.
Over 150 million sets of Scrabble have been sold worldwide. A short history of how the game came to be explains its place in pop culture and popularity with everyone from Barack Obama to Lisa Simpson.