This week focuses on November as Games and Puzzles Month, which is especially celebrated all of Thanksgiving week. (We’re giving you a head start.) It’s also inspired by the charity event I attended last weekend for John Spinello, the inventor of the game Operation. Sadly, he sold the rights for just $500 and earned not a penny on the 45 million copies purchased! The event, appropriately named “Operation Gratitude” was organized by toy/game inventor, documentarian, and all-round super nice guy, Tim Walsh. (More follows.)
We welcome your feedback. (Kathy@WiserNow.com)
"The truth is that play seems to be one of the most advanced methods nature has invented to allow a complex brain to create itself. . . . Play is the stick that stirs the drink. It is the basis of all art, games, books, sports, movies, fashion, fun, and wonder—in short, the basis of what we think of as civilization. Play is the vital essence of life. It is what makes life lively.” ― Stuart Brown
Play: How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul
The Cute Meme
The caption comes from the email sign-off of Tim Walsh. The picture is of a quokka, one of those quirky animals native to Australia. You may not have heard of it before but can learn more here. It smiles naturally. Take the hint.
The Quirky Fact
If you need to learn something new, don’t get serious. It’s as true for adults as it is for children: Experts say, you’ll learn a new task better when it’s fun and you’re in a relaxed and playful mood. Play can also stimulate your imagination, helping you adapt and solve problems.
Tim Walsh wrote a marvelous coffee table book called Timeless Toys - Classic Toys and the Playmakers Who Created Them
which tells the stories behind the toys we loved (and in many cases, the current generation of kids still
loves) and filled his book with delightful details and full color pictures that are sure to make you go “Awwww,” and sigh. Following is an excerpt from a quiz I created from his facts.
Which two of the following statements are false?
1. Mr. Potato Head originally required the use of a real potato as the basis for the face to which the plastic features were attached. Mothers in those early post-WWII days were happy to oblige to keep their darlings occupied during the making of dinner.
2. G I Joe followed a few years behind the iconic Barbie doll as the boy’s equivalent of what was known as the “razor + razor blade” approach. Sell the doll, and then keep the customer coming back for its never-ending accessories. And provide buddies (Ace, Skip and Rocky).
3. The Etch a Sketch was invented by a Frenchman and is sometimes called the first laptop. Its “power source” is static electricity, it was especially appealing to children who no longer needed to clean up their mess after drawing, and fathers because it required no assembly or batteries.
4. Legos, those stackable, colorful bricks with endless architectural possibilities, take their name from the native language of their Danish inventor. It’s a contraction of the phrase “Building unlimited.” He didn’t realize that it’s also Latin for “I can do this.”
Answers at the end of this document.
Share this post, please! I am eager to reach a wider audience. Please share this newsletter with your mail list, if appropriate and ask people to sign up here
to receive it themselves.
The Kiosk of Resources
We’ve included quite a few links in the body of this email, but I did want to highlight one of my favorite games, that is both hilarious and so compact it can be played at the dinner table. Each person draws a card with a famous person or character’s name and then the judge draws an event card and asks each person to argue why their celebrity would win. It might pit, for example, Bob Dylan and Tarzan against each other in a needlepoint contest. Using your imagination to make your point stretches the brain, and laughter helps it along. And it keeps the discussion off politics if you first discreetly remove a couple of the celebrity cards!
Answers to the quiz:
1. Mr. Potato Head was originally controversial because produce, even the common potato, was not to be wasted when the deprivations of the War and the Great Depression still felt close at hand.
4. Legos is a contraction of the phrase “Play well.” It’s also Latin for “I put together.”