Sunday, June 12, 2011

Weekend Gaming -- in memoriam/elegant games

[It does not bode well when you need to make time Monday to catch up on things you were supposed to do over the weekend.]

Toy Designer Ned Strongin Dies at 91
Strongin was known for designing and licensing several award-winning toys, including Connect Four, Weebles, Giggle Wiggle and the Wiggly Giggly ball. Connect Four, his most commercially successful invention, remains one of Hasbro's best-selling games.

"Ned was regarded in the toy and game industry as one of the three post-World War II 'fathers' of external toy and game inventions, along with Marvin Glass and Eddy Goldfarb," said Phil Orbanes, president of Winning Moves Games. Orbanes worked with Strongin to license Giggle Wiggle to Hasbro Games.
If you're not familiar with the Connect Four, here's the introduction from Wikipedia:
Connect Four (also known as Four Up, Plot Four, Find Four, Four in a Row, and Four in a Line) is a two-player game in which the players first choose a color and then take turns dropping their colored discs from the top into a seven-column, six-row vertically-suspended grid. The pieces fall straight down, occupying the next available space within the column. The object of the game is to connect four of one's own discs of the same color next to each other vertically, horizontally, or diagonally before one's opponent can do so.
It's an entertaining and genuinely challenging game and it illustrates the most fascinating attributes of what I've called elegant games: a simple rule or condition (in this case, that each column must be filled from the bottom up) can greatly increase the complexity and subtlety of a game.

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