Posts Tagged ‘classic board games’
Who is Mr Monopoly and What are the real stories around the Monopoly board game?
Monopoly is considered, the father of all modern board games. Its popularity doesn’t know borders or language barriers and from its firsts years of life, it became the favourite board game of kids and parents.
There are so many stories and incredible facts around Monopoly that would be impossible talk about history of board games without making any reference to these events. Friends playing Monopoly in the most unusual ways and people attempting incredible records.
Here you can find some real stories and incredible facts that surround the Monopoly board game:
Scrabble is probably one of the most famous board games ever invented with over 100 million sets sold in all the world.
Today everyone knows Scrabble and have played this linguistic clever game once at least, but few people know the real story of its invention.
In fact not everyone knows that Scrabble before becoming a famous board game was first a commercial flop.
Year 1931; The city of Poughkeepsie, upstate New York, was facing the worst years of the great depression. This was the situation when an architect, Alfred Mosher Butts, lost his job and decided to devote himself to his biggest passion: board games and words. Soon Butts decided to invent a board game to play with words and improve the linguistic skills of the player. Towards the end of 1931 Butts had already developed the basic idea of the board game, which was initially called Lexico. This game was initially played without the board and players calculated their scores according to the length of the words formed. There were also reward points for words formed with less frequent letters (B, F, H, M, P, V, W, Y) and bonus points even higher for those containing unusual letters (J, K, Q, X, Z).
In 1933, Butts tied to register the trademark of is new board game but his request was denied. Similarly, when he proposed the new board game to the two top gaming company In United States, (Parker Brothers and Milton Bradley), he received only a polite refuse.
The Mahjong (麻雀麻将), is a board game for four players, born in China at the beginning of the nineteenth century, and now worldwide popular, especially in United States and Japan.
Its name means “bird of hemp” or “hemp sparrow”.
There are different versions about the birth of this board game, but the most legendary one tells that Mahjong board game was invented by a fisherman in China about 2500 years ago.
The story goes that a fisherman was on his boat and, during a storm, seeing his men worried and scared, he invented something to entertain them. It is said that the gods favoured the poor fisherman and inspired him the invention of a game with few pieces of wood. In a meantime, the fisherman carved the pieces with different symbols, and taught his men how to play this new board game. The crew was so interested in the game that soon forgot the storm.
The fisherman called the game Mah-Jong (hemp bird), remembering the little bird that always followed him during the fishing.
Another legend attributes the invention of the Mahjong game to the great Chinese philosopher Confucius, around 500 BC.
This story (considered false by historians) has some curious correspondence with the reality: infact the pieces of the game called the “three dragons” represent the three cardinal virtues professed by Confucius: the red Chung (Benevolence), the green Fa (Sincerity ) and the White Po (love). It is said that Confucius had a great love for birds, and for this reason called the game Mah-Jong (bird of hemp).
Many of the terms used in this board game, such as Chee and Kong, are explained with the Confucian origin of the game.
However, for historians, the Mahjong game was invented at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Some researchers sad that this game could come from the Madia (马吊) , another popular board game played in China at the beginning of the Ming Dynasty.
There are only hypothesis around the real inventor of this board game. Someone say that it was created by Chinese army officers, to pass the time during the Tai Ping Rebellion (1851-1864), others that the inventor was a noble of Shanghai between 1870 and 1875.
But we like to think that the game of Mahjong was invented either by the fisherman or by Confucius, because we’re so fascinated by old stories.