Thursday, September 28, 2017

Game Changer

I just read It's All A Game, a history of board games.  It starts with ancient games like chess and backgammon, and takes us up to the present.

I'm fascinated by games--both the playing and the theories behind them.  Reading the book, with the many stories of people coming up with and figuring out how their game worked, it made me think how much fun it must be to invent a game.

When I first played Apples To Apples (not in the book, but I guess there's no board involved), I remember thinking it's such a simple concept, yet it's so entertaining--wish I'd thought of it.  And not just for the money, though that would be nice, too.

But another thing you notice, in chapter after chapter, is how many great modern board games were rejected by the game industry at first.  Monopoly--too complicated.  Mousetrap--not really a game.  Twister--too dirty.  Trivial Pursuit--too obvious and expensive.

Why didn't people who make a living at games see what they had?  I suppose those in charge expect more of the same.  When you show them the new direction, they're likely to think this doesn't follow the old formula.  I guess it happens in any industry, though you'd wish game people were different.


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