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Anybody Want to Play Twister?

Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images

I often wonder just how people get into the professions that they get into.  Some people are in  the airline business, others in the laundry business, still others in the fashion business. Then there are those in the game business. Have you ever wondered how someone becomes a creator of a game?

Take the Parker Brothers, makers of many games including Monopoly. Parker Brothers was founded by George Parker.  Parker’s philosophy was he believed that games should be played for enjoyment.  He created his first game, called Banking, in 1883 at the age of 16. Banking is a game in which players borrowed money from the bank and tried to generate wealth by guessing how well they could do. He spent $40 to publish 500 sets of Banking. He eventually sold all but twelve copies, making a profit of $100 and the rest is history

Parker founded his game company in Salem, Massachusetts in 1883. In 1888 his brother Charles joined the business and in 1898 a third brother, Edward joined the company.  In 1906, Parker Brothers published the game Rook, their most successful card game to this day and it quickly became the best-selling game in the country. During the Great Depression, a time when many companies went out of business, Parker Brothers released a new board game called Monopoly.It was an instant success, and the company had difficulty keeping up with demand.

Even after George Parker’s death, the company remained family-owned until 1968, when General Mills  purchased the company. In 1985, General Mills merged the company with their subsidiary Kenner which was acquired by Tonka  in 1987.  Tonka, including Parker Brothers, was then bought by Hasbro. in 1991.

I started writing this blog to talk about the game Twister which was introduced to the game market in October of 1966 and somehow got off on a tangent about the Parker Brothers. Twister was a controversial game when it came out.  Milton Bradley, the company that produced the game, was accused by it’s competitors of selling “sex in a box”  probably because Twister was the first popular American game to use human bodies as playing pieces. The game became a huge success when Eva Gabor played the game with Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show in 1966. After that episode on TV, sales of the game skyrocketed.

When you think about all of the games that are out there (Dominos, Checkers, Candyland,etc), someone has to come up with the idea and a way to incorporate players and make it fun.  What a job that would be.

This all got me to thinking of just what game is my favorite. I still like UNO best but if a female would like to play Twister, I would make time for that. Thanks Johnny Carson. What is your all time favorite game?

 

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