Every so often, in between game sessions, I find myself online researching little known facts about board games we’ve all heard of. I should think many times these little tidbits would be easily overlooked as the majority of the population involving themselves with such things are children. While they may have curious minds, I doubt it stretches as far as finding out historical details of the games they play.
I thought it would be fun to share some of the interesting facts I found during one random day of intrigue.
-In 1979, Battleship was one of the earlier games to be made into a computer game!
-Originally, Battleship (the paper version, mind you) included land!
-The creators of Boggle intentionally designed the cubes so F and K only appeared once (on the same cube) – so a certain swear word could never be used in the game!
–Candyland was created by a school teacher while recovering from Polio.
-Believe it or not, Candyland was the center of drama in the mid-90’s when Hasbro wanted control of CandyLand.com (which, at the time was a porn site!). They were eventually successful.
-In Connect 4, there are an estimated 4,531,985,219,092 possible options!! And the player who goes first has the ability to win 100% of the time- whether they will or not is the question.
–Cranium was not only the first product unrelated to Coffee to be sold at Starbucks, but also on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
-In the first version of Life– suicide, disgrace, poverty and prison were all featured spaces. Something tells me that wouldn’t go over too well today- despite the relevance!
-Hasbro says the tallest Jenga tower ever was 40 levels tall with two blocks on top. Crazy!!
-Despite the fact that you’re supposed to create the Monopoly money once you’ve run out mid-game, it is said that Parker Brothers once sent a group of players extra cash by plane/armored car –for their 161+ hour marathon.
-It is said Monopoly can technically be won in 21 seconds (however improbable) in a two-player game- taking four turns and only 9 rolls of the die.
-Did you know Fidel Castro banned Monopoly in Cuba? I didn’t either.
-Or that during WWII, allies smuggled maps, compasses, documents and more to prisoners of war in the Monopoly game boxes.
-Another fun Monopoly fact- the game pieces were inspired by the creators (Charles Darrow) nieces charm bracelet!
-In 1962, a Sophomore at the University of Illinois invented Operation as part of a school assignment. He only made $500 off the game after selling the prototype- what a mistake!
-Apparently the name of the patient in Operation is called “Cavity Sam”.
-Four jurors once used a Ouija Board to determine a convicted murderer’s guilt- and was responsible for their retrial.
-Supposedly Alice Cooper got his “stage name” after a Ouija Board told him he was once a witch reincarnated.
-There are three words in Scrabble that are impossible to play even using blank tiles: Kickknack, Pizzazz and Senselessness.
-Using all of your letters in one turn of Scrabble is a Bingo!
–Settlers of Catan sold out so fast when it first came out that the inventors don’t even have the first edition!
I’m sure there is much more out there to know about your favorite board games. Share your discoveries with me in the comments below!