It’s time to pull out the ol’ trivia facts again! These are always so fun to discover and even more fun to share. Some of these really surprised me- I couldn’t overlook the opportunity to spread the curiosity. From saving lives to helping POW’s escape, I wonder how games will continue to impact people in weird ways in the future!
1. Musicians may make more from Guitar Hero than from album sales
This may not be super hard to believe when you consider the fact that nobody seems to want to buy full length albums (can we really call them CD’s if they’re digital files?) anymore. It’s all about the single downloads. To be honest I’ve been burned by spending $20 for a CD with only two tracks I like out of the whole thing a few too many times- so I am admittedly guilty of contributing to the decline of the music industry.
In any case, the deals Activision must have made with the artists featured in the Guitar Hero games must be pretty impressive. Take Aerosmith for example- when their version of Guitar Hero came out in 2008, sales of their music rose 40% according to Billboard. I’m sure it helped that they were being introduced to younger, videogame playing generations- but it’s still impressive! It’s been suggested that the game is responsible for the most Aerosmith sales, ever… but that was never confirmed by their representation.
2. Monopoly helped POWs break free
This one is mind blowing to me. During World War II, surprisingly enough the prisoners were allowed to pass the time with board games. The British Government was permitted to send their soldiers some too (another surprise, honestly). It just so happened that one of the games sent was Monopoly- but the contents weren’t just the typical playing pieces consisting of things like the Thumbtack and Racecar- there were also tools for escape enclosed as well. The British Gov. was able to work with the game publisher to hide helpful items in the box such as real bank notes, small compasses, a silk map (so it wouldn’t disintegrate) and more. This effort was well worth it– as eventually the POWs were able to escape.
3. Words with Friends Connection Saves A Man’s Life!
I couldn’t believe this when I read it! A chance encounter on the Words With Friend’s chat feature literally saved a man’s life! Georgie Fletcher went to play Words with Friends and happened to connect with a fellow opponent in Australia, Beth Legler . One day, Georgie’s husband wasn’t feeling well and on a whim, she described his symptoms to Beth- who then described them to her husband Larry- a doctor. He advised they visit a hospital right away and for good reason- Georgie’s husband, Simon, had a severe blockage near his heart and would have died without proper and immediate medical attention. Crazy!
4. US version of Clue adapted to exclude use of a Reverend
Did you know the British version of Clue, released in 1948- included a Reverend? Neither did I! Apparently, the character we know as Mr. Green, was presented as Reverend Green! When it came time for the Parker Brothers to publish the game for the US, they elected to change him to a businessman. Why? They were afraid the masses would reject the concept of a man of God being accused of or even committing a murder. A businessman? Totally possible- who trusts a businessman am I right?
5. McDonald’s Monopoly Promotion Theft Does Good
I’m sure you’re familiar with the promotion McDonald’s runs every year where they try to get you to collect all the pieces on the boxes their food is served in. Well, I’ll just assume you are anyway.
Turns out, one year someone stole all of the winning pieces and donated them to St. Judes- who then won the $1 million prize. At the time, McDonald’s didn’t know theft was involved in the victory (which would have immediately invalidated the win) – so they paid out without question. Years later when the truth came to be known, McDonald’s let the hospital keep the money. Way to go!