Friday, May 18, 2007

Milton Bradley's Game Of Life

Last night, read Jill Lepore's great article in The New Yorker about board game creator Milton Bradley. Prior to launching his board game company in 1860 with "The Checkered Game Of Life", his ancestors suffered several bloody deaths at the hands of Indians. Milton went on to invent his game that still exists today and went on to champion his favorite cause - the concept of kindergarten.
There is great board game history as well. Many current board games are based on ancient Asian games that have existed for centuries. This excerpt about the Indian game, Jnana Chaupar:

"Beginning in 1892, Jnana Chaupar was sold in Britain as Snakes and Ladders; in the United States, it survives today as Chutes and Ladders."

Bradley's games were meant to instill in children the principles of virtue as they moved through life. A commemorative version of the Game of Life is due out this year.