We all like games, don’t we? Here are some famous people — some of them you might recognize — who invented games.
1.) Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. That’s Lewis Carroll for you. The very same Lewis Carroll who gave us Alice In Wonderland and Through The Looking Glass. Unknown to most, Lewis Carroll was an excellent mathematician who went to the prestigious Oxford University. Carroll invented a cornucopia of games: mazes, ciphers, riddles and magic tricks. His book, Game of Logic (1886) was devised to make logic (which baffles me) a bit more interesting. It uses propositions, syllogisms and fallacies which sounds complicated. It is actually. But, just like Jabberwocky, it amuses audiences with clever, whimsical statements on every subject imaginable — from dragons to hard-boiled eggs.
2.) H.G. Wells. War Of The Worlds writer H.G. Wells invented your prototype of Command & Conquer — Little Wars. It’s like Games of The Generals, only more detailed and expansive — in the literal sense. The game had simple rules but it required such an elaborate play space. The players built houses, churches, basically a small community from wallpaper, cardboard and packing paper. Wells himself played on an 18-foot battlefield that included 200 soldiers and 6 brass cannons that fire one inch wooden cylinders for ammunition.
3.) Mark Twain. The writer of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer invented Memory-Builder, a Game for Acquiring and Retaining all Sorts of Facts and Dates. Quite a mouthful — even the game’s title needs a lot of memory work. Anyway, the game required players to, you guessed it, remember particular dates and events in history which are spread out in a pegboard divided into 100 rectangles. There are points for correct answers and penalties for wrong ones. Twain sold the game in 1891 but proved to be a commercial failure.
4.) Helen Beatrix Potter. No, she’s not a Bellatrix-Harry hybrid of any sort. Beatrix Potter is an English author, illustrator and scientist who’s best known for her children’s books such as The Tale Of Peter Rabbit. It is from this that the game Peter Rabbit’s Race Game was born. Players are to choose a character — Peter Rabbit, Squirrel Nutkin, Jemima Puddle-Duck and Jeremy Fisher — roll a die and walk the 122-square path until a player reaches the finish line which is ‘The Meeting Place in The Wood’. There are also traps and privileges on the way. It’s like your regular Snakes ‘n Ladders, only cuter and more furry.