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Saturday, 21 March 2015


The game 'bobbing for apples' is believed to have originated from an ancient pagan Roman harvest festival.

The original "Snakes and Ladders" was a 13th-century Indian game called "Mokshapat" that was designed to teach Hindu values.

The game of a cats’ cradle – two players alternately strength a looped string over their fingers to produce different designs – has been around since about 1760.

The phrase 'touching wood' is believed to be derived from a popular 19th century children’s game, When playing Tig-Touch-Wood, touching wood made you safe from being tagged: shouting out the phrase “touch wood” was even a part of the game itself.

The first known use of the phrase “back to square one” comes from the game Snakes and Ladders

Hangman was invented in Victorian times. Its predecessor was mentioned in Alice Bertha Gomme's Traditional Games in 1894 under the name "Birds, Beasts and Fishes". In that game a player wrote down the first and last letter of a word for an animal, and the other player guessed the letters in between.

Peter Adolph invented the table football game Subbuteo in 1947. A keen bird watcher, he wanted to call it 'The Hobby' after his favorite bird but was denied a trademark because the name was defined as descriptive. He substituted the Latin name instead, Falco subbuteo,

The battery operated game Operation was initially produced by Milton Bradley in 1965. It has inspired a real-life buzzer for operating rooms that goes off if a surgeon touches a nerve with a probe.

The game of Twister took off in 1966 after talk show host Johnny Carson and actress Eva Gabor played it on The Tonight Show. Gabor, wearing a low-cut gown, ended up on all fours with Carson on top of her.  The next morning there were 50 people standing in line to buy the game at retailer Abercrombie & Fitch where a few games had not been returned.

Wikipedia Commons

In 1971 a barber by the name of Merle Robbins from Reading, Ohio invented the Uno card game. Robbins came up with the game to help resolve an argument with his son about the rules of another popular card game, Crazy Eight.

In 1973, Dungeons & Dragons was invented by Dave Arneson and Scott Gygax. The innovative game created a whole new fantasy/adventure category of toys, which quickly became a $250-million market.

The second best selling game of all time is Jenga. Jenga is a Swahili word, meaning "to build."

Source London Times

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