The strange history of the world’s most popular board game


It was 1884. A new board game was taking Europe by storm. The game was called “The Checkered Game of Life”, and it was said to be the creation of an American named Milton Bradley. The game was simple: players would start at the “infancy” space and move around the board, making choices that would lead them to either success or failure. The game was a hit, and soon, Bradley was selling copies all over the world.

But the game’s popularity was short-lived. In the early 1900s, a new board game emerged that would soon eclipse “The Checkered Game of Life” in popularity. The game was called “Monopoly”, and it was created by a man named Charles Darrow. “Monopoly” was a much more complex game than “The Checkered Game of Life”, and it quickly became the most popular board game in the world.

Bradley was not happy about this turn of events. He believed that “Monopoly” was a rip-off of his own game, and he sued Darrow for copyright infringement. The case went to trial, and Bradley’s lawyers presented evidence that showed that many of the elements of “Monopoly” were strikingly similar to those of “The Checkered Game of Life”. However, the judge ruled in Darrow’s favor, and “Monopoly” went on to become the most popular board game in the world.

Today, “The Checkered Game of Life” is all but forgotten. But the story of how this once-popular game was eclipsed by “Monopoly” is a fascinating tale of ambition, rivalry, and betrayal.

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