The Game of Life
Inventor: Milton Bradley
Company: Milton Bradley
Object of the game: In the original 1860 game, the goal was to reach a Happy Old Age by earning points for perseverance, honor and other admirable qualities. The goal for players of the redesigned 1960 version — which continues to this day — is to win the most money.
History: In 1860 Milton Bradley, who ran a Massachusetts lithography business, decided to use his idle presses to make games. As board games were still a diversion associated with gambling, Bradley focused on creating an instructional game of morals. He dubbed his invention The Checkered Game of Life and soon sold 40,000 copies.
Updated versions: The original game was updated several times between 1866 and 1911, but its popularity faded as games that promoted fun over morals swept the country. In the 1950s, the Milton Bradley Company hired game inventor Reuben Klamer, who worked with Bill Markham to update the game for the company's 100th anniversary. Klamer added a three-dimensional game board, tinkered with the rules, renamed it The Game of Life and inked a promotional deal with TV personality Art Linkletter. More changes came in the 1990s when the game added tiles that promoted environmentalism, family activities and community service. Now, 150 years after it was first created, fans can play it as a computer game or download it as an app.
Trivia: While the 1860 version penalized a player for gambling, the 1960 version offered winnings from gambling as a reward. Today's version doesn’t mention gambling.