Timeline Games-Toys

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3000BC    The earliest 6-sided dice date to about this time from a site in northern Iraq.
    (WSJ, 10/27/06, p.W5)

c1500BCE    A court to play ulama was built about this time in Chiapas, Mexico. Olmecs used latex balls for the game.
    (Econ, 4/24/04, p.81)

c500BCE    The game of Go was devised in China about this time.
    (Econ, 12/18/04, p.128)

43CE        The Romans brought with them the board game latrunculi (little soldiers), when they conquered Britain.
    (Arch, 1/05, p.39)

56CE        Huan Tan, Go strategist, died. In his book “Xin Lun" (New Treatise) he advised that the best approach to the game is to spread your pieces widely so as to encircle the opponent.
    (Econ, 12/18/04, p.128)

990        A set of instructions on chess, the Versus de Scachis (Poem About Chess), emerged in Switzerland about this time. The game had begun in India before the 6th century.
    (Arch, 1/05, p.40)(Econ, 10/29/11, p.97)

1424        James I returned from exile and was crowned King of Scotland. He tried but failed to ban golf. He wanted his troops to practice more archery.
    (WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R34)(SSFC, 11/23/03, p.C6)

1457        King James II of Scotland (James of the Fiery Face) banned "Futeball" on the grounds that it threatened national defense by drawing young men away from archery practice. He banned "Golfe" for the same reason. "Nocht usit and utterlie cryit doun."
    (SFC, 8/10/96, p.E4)(Hem., 1/97, p.47)

1473        The game of golf was played in Scotland at the Old course at St. Andrews.
    (SFC, 6/25/95, p.T-7)

1530        Florence, Italy, held the first lottery, La Lotto de Firenze. It was followed by similar drawings in Genoa and Venice to raise funds for various public projects.
    (WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R34)(http://www.logiuocodellotto.com/)
1530        The game of bingo can be traced back to a lottery game called "Il Giuoco del Lotto d'Italia" played in Italy about this time. By the eighteenth century, the game had matured, and in France, playing cards, tokens, the reading out of numbers had been added to the game. In the nineteenth century, Bingo was widely used in Germany for educational purposes to teach children spelling, animal names, and multiplication tables.

1567        Mary, Queen of Scots, played one of the 1st recorded games of golf at Seton Castle. In 2005 the 14-bedroom castle was put on the market asking $27 million.
    (SFC, 8/31/05, p.C2)

1616        A set of silver playing cards was created in Germany about this time engraved by a man named Michael Frömmer. It used a suit seen in Italy, with swords, coins, batons and cups in values from ace to 10. Each of these suits has three face cards — king, knight and knave.
    (LiveScience, 11/30/12)

1620        May 17, The 1st merry-go-round was seen at a fair in Philippapolis, Turkey.
    (MC, 5/17/02)

1702        Meijin Dosaku, go-master to the shogun of Japan, died. He was the 4th head of the Honimbo go school and is held by many Japanese to have been the game’s greatest player.
    (Econ, 12/18/04, p.129)

1722        Apr 30, Game of Billiards was mentioned in New England Courant.
    (MC, 4/30/02)

1742        Aug 29, Edmond Hoyle (1672-1769) published his "Short Treatise" on the card game whist.
    (MC, 8/29/01)

1754        In Scotland the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews was founded.
    (Econ, 12/20/14, p.110)

1769        Aug 29,  Edmond Hoyle (b.1672), English games expert, died.
    (MC, 8/29/01)

1788        Rules were set for the game of cricket.
    (Econ, 4/24/04, p.81)

1791        A document was released in 2004 from Pittsfield, Mass., that contained a 1791 bylaw to protect the windows of a new meeting house from baseball players.
    (SFC, 5/12/04, p.A2)

1831        The Lewis chessman, 92 walrus ivory pieces, were unearthed on the Isle of Lewis off the coast of Scotland. In 2010 Gudmundur Thorarinsson tried to convince scholars that these pieces were the work of Margret, an Icelandic woman carver commissioned by medieval Norse Bishop Paul Jonsson. In 2015 Nancy Marie Brown authored "Ivory Vikings: The Mystery of the Most Famous Chessmen in the World and the Woman Who Made Them."
    (Econ, 8/29/15, p.68)

1834        Nov 1, The 1st published reference to poker was as Mississippi riverboat game.
    (MC, 11/1/01)

1836        May 18, Wilhelm Steinitz was born. The Czech-born world chess champion (1866-94) later became a naturalized American.
    (HN, 5/18/99)(SC, 5/18/02)

1842        Jun 12, Dr Thomas Arnold (b.1795), British educator and historian, died. Arnold was an early supporter of the Broad Church Anglican movement. He was headmaster of Rugby School from 1828 to 1841, where he introduced a number of reforms. In 2012 Mihir Bose authored “The Spirit of the Game: How Sport Made the Modern World."
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Arnold)(Econ, 3/3/12, p.95)

1844        Sep 25-1844 Sep 27, The first int’l. cricket match was played between the USA and Canada at the St George's Cricket Club, Bloomingdale Park, NY. Canada won by 23 runs.
    (Econ, 7/24/10, p.83)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v_Canada_%281844%29)

1860        Jul 25, The 1st US intercollegiate billiard match was between Harvard and Yale.
    (SC, 7/25/02)

1860        Milton Bradley started a lithograph company in Springfield, Mass. In 1866 Bradley launched the board-game industry in North America with “The Checkered Game of Life," which innovated on earlier representations of life as a board game. By 1880 he expanded into manufacturing jigsaw puzzles. Hasbro, short for Hassenfeld Brothers, bought Milton Bradley in 1992.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Game_of_Life)(SFC, 6/11/08, p.G3)

1861        Henry Morton founded the Paris Manufacturing Co. in South Paris, Maine. The company made various toys and then desks from the late 1800s. In 1978 it became Paricon Inc.
    (SFC, 1/23/08, p.G5)

1862        Frederick August Otto Schwartz (FAO Schwartz) opened up a toy shop in Baltimore 6 years after arriving in America from Germany. In 1870 he moved to New York. In 1880 he moved to larger quarters on Union Square.
    (SSFC, 7/21/02, p.F3)(WSJ, 11/21/03, p.B1)

1865        Oct 10, John Wesley Hyatt patented a new method for manufacturing billiard balls. He used melted glue and cloth as an alternative to the ivory balls in use, but his 1st products did not work well. [see Apr 6, 1869]
    (MC, 10/10/01)(ON, 11/03, p.3)

1867        The US Playing Card Co. began business. In 2003 its brands included Bee, Hoyle, Aviator and Bicycle (b.1885).
    (WSJ, 4/29/03, B12)

1869        Apr 6, John and Isaiah Hyatt applied for a new patent using collodion to manufacture billiard balls. They later named their product celluloid. It was similar to that made by English inventor Alexander Parkes, who patented the process in England in 1855. The new plastic could be molded and mass produced, but was very flammable and exploded when struck with excessive force. [see Jun 15]
    (HNQ, 5/8/98)(WSJ, 1/11/98, p.R18)(MC, 4/6/02)(PCh, 1992, p.467)(ON, 11/03, p.3)

1870        Frederick August Otto Schwartz (FAO Schwartz) opened up his 1st NYC store on Broadway called Schwartz Toy Bazaar.
    (WSJ, 11/21/03, p.B1)

1871        Jul 25, A carrousel was patented by Wilhelm Schneider in Davenport, Iowa.
    (SC, 7/25/02)

1873        Modern lawn tennis made its debut. It was a variation of a game played for centuries by royals. Major Walter Clopton Wingfield, a British army officer, devised the game for the entertainment of guests at his country estate.
    (WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R34)(Econ, 4/24/04, p.81)

1875        Apr 17, The game of "snooker" was invented by Sir Neville Chamberlain.
    (HN, 4/17/98)

1876        The medieval game of court tennis arrived in the US. It was the fore-runner of lawn tennis, which was already being played in the US.
    (SFC, 5/15/98, p.D7)

1886        A board game called "The Game of Baseball" was made with a lithographed game board by the McLoughlin Brothers. In 1999 the boxed game was worth $3,000.
    (SFC, 4/7/99, Z1 p.7)

1877        In Germany the Steiff Toy Co. was founded. They made their first teddy bears in 1903 with black, shoe-button eyes.
    (SFC, 1/21/98, Z1 p.3)
1877        In Germany the S. Gunthermann manufacturer of metal vehicles and other toys was founded in Nuremberg about this time.
    (SFC, 9/19/06, p.G3)

1889        The dexterity game “Pigs in Clover" was built by Charles Crandall. It dared a player to move little balls into a center pen.
    (SFC, 9/10/02, p.A15)
1889        Nintendo of Japan was founded by the great-grandfather of President Hiroshi Yamauchi to produce hand-painted hanafuda playing cards decorated with flowers. A book about Nintendo was later written by David Sheff.
    (SFC, 10/11/97, p.A19)(Econ, 10/1/16, p.62)

1890        In Chicago Henry C. Niemann organized the H.C. Niemann & Co. to make tables. In 1909 the company moved to the 1800 block of Rockwell Street. It closed in 1929.
    (SFC, 5/14/08, p.G6)

1890        Parker Brothers introduced its board game Across the Continent. The game was re-released a number of times until 1952.
    (SFC, 6/25/08, p.G3)

1891        Dec 1, The Canadian, Dr. James B. Naismith, sports figure, inventor, teacher, invented the game of basketball at the YMCA in Springfield, Mass. A janitor provided peach baskets instead of the requested boxes.
    (Hem, Dec. 94, p.126)(DTnet, 11/28/97)(MC, 12/1/01)

1894        Charles Miller, the son of an English railway engineer, returned to Sao Paulo from a British boarding school. He brought back a football and popularized the game of soccer in Brazil.
    (Econ, 10/29/16, p.30)

1895        The Montgomery Ward catalog offered the game of Tiddledy Winks for 20 cents.
    (WSJ, 12/17/03, p.B1)
1895        The J&E Stevens Co. began making Rival toy stoves. The mass-produced cast-iron toys were sold with a coal bucket, a tea kettle, frying pan and cooking pot. The company was in business until the 1930s.
    (SFC, 3/19/97, z1 p.3)
1895        The US Bowling Congress began keeping league records.
    (WSJ, 5/24/08, p.A7)

1898        Aug 16, Edwin Prescott patented a roller coaster.
    (MC, 8/16/02)

1898        A coin operated machine called Liberty Bell was invented in San Francisco. It was the first automatic payout machine. It established the standard for millions of slot machines made during the early 20th century.
    (SFC, 4/20/17, p.E14)

1899        Apr 13, Alfred Moser Butts, inventor of the board game Scrabble, was born.
    (HN, 4/13/98)(MC, 4/13/02)

1900        Joshua Lionel Cowen (1877-1965), inventor, along with some partners founded Lionel Corp in NYC. Operation were later based outside Detroit and Lionel grew to become the world’s largest toy maker in the 1950s. [see 1901]
    (WSJ, 11/17/04, p.B1)(www.fact-index.com/j/jo/joshua_lionel_cowen.html)
1900        At the Olympics in Paris a Belgian sharpshooter killed 21 live pigeons. The event was abolished shortly thereafter. Separately the game of croquet was featured for the first and last time.
    (WSJ, 7/23/96, p.A6)

1901        Feb 5, Loop-the-loop centrifugal RR (roller coaster) was patented by Ed Prescot.
    (MC, 2/5/02)

1901        Joshua Lionel Cowen (22) set up a battery-powered toy train to draw customer attention to goods in a store display window. This marked the beginning of Lionel Trains.
    (SFEC, 8/15/99, Z1 p.8)

1902        S.W. Erdnase published “The Expert at the Card Table." The book revealed secrets behind card tricks and cheating techniques. The real identity of the author was a mystery.
    (WSJ, 8/16/00, p.A1)

1903        Feb 15, The 1st Teddy Bear was introduced in America by Morris & Rose Michtom.
    (440 Int’l., 2/15/99)

1904         Elizabeth J. Magie (1866-1948), American game designer, patented the Landlord’s Game. In Oct 1929 Ruth Hoskins brought a version to Atlantic City, where she refined the rules and street names. It was later introduced to George Darrow who began selling it commercially as Monopoly in 1933. 
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Magie)(WSJ, 2/3/05, p.W12)

1907        In France the bowling game of petanque or boule assumed its current form after possible origins in ancient Greece or Egypt. Similar to bocce ball it is played on a dirt court with baseball sized steel balls. In 1998 it was seeking Olympic recognition. The French version was born near Marseille as a sport for the masses. In 1959 France held the 1st annual petanque world championship.
    (WSJ, 1/5/98, p.20)(WSJ, 8/30/07, p.A7)

1909        Rose Cecil O’Neill (1874-1944), illustrator, drew the 1st Kewpie doll for an issue of Ladies Home Journal. By 1911 they were being produced as dolls and figurines.
    (www.lambiek.net/oneill_rose.htm)(SFC, 5/14/08, p.G6)

1912        Prizes were added to boxes of Cracker Jacks. [see Feb 19, 1913]
    (HFA, ‘96, p.67)(SFC, 7/29/98, Z1 p.23)(AH, 10/01, p.34)
1912        The Durable Toy & Novelty Co. began making toy registering banks about this time. Its office was in NYC and its factory in Cleveland, Ohio.
    (SFC, 4/2/08, p.G2)
1912        Heinrich Muller and Heinrich Schreyer started the Schreyer & Co. toy company in Nuremberg, Germany. The name was shortened to Schuco in the 1920. They began making “Yes/No" toys in 1921 and after WWII these were called “Tricky" toys.  In 1999 Schuco became part of the Simba Dickie Group.
    (SFC, 4/23/08, p.G6)

1913        Feb 19, The 1st prize was inserted into a Cracker Jack box. [see 1912]
    (MC, 2/19/02)

1913        Dec 21, The first crossword puzzle, created by Arthur Wynne, the English-born New York journalist, was published in the New York World.
    (AP, 12/21/97)(www.fun-with-words.com/first_crossword.html)

1913        Strombeck-Becker Manufacturing Co. of Moline Illinois was incorporated by J.F. Strombeck and R.D. Becker. They made wooden handles and tent poles and expanded into toys in 1919 and dollhouse furniture in 1931. In 1962 the company dropped out of the toy business.
    (SFC, 8/20/08, p.G4)

1913        Mary McAboy of Missoula, Montana, began hand-making Skookum Indian dolls and acquired a patent for it in 1914. Skookum was a Siwash Indian word that roughly means bully good.
    (SFC, 6/17/98, Z1 p.3)(SFC, 3/16/05, p.G4)

1914        The Toy Tinkers Company of Evanston, Ill., made the Tinkertoy Wonder Builder construction set out of wood as its first product. It sold for 50 cents. Toy Tinkers was sold in 1952 to A.G. Spalding. It was later acquired by Hasbro who made its parts out of plastic. Hasbro was named after the Hassenfeld Brothers.
    (SFC, 2/5/97, z-1 p.7)(SFC, 4/8/98, Z1 p.6)(SFC, 8/15/98, p.E4)

1915        May 28, John B. Gruelle patented the Raggedy Ann doll.
    (MC, 5/28/02)

1917        Jun 28, The Raggedy Ann doll invented.
    (MC, 6/28/02)

1918        The game “Consult El Caro" was 1st built. A metal ball fell into a recessed hole containing answers to questions.
    (SFC, 9/10/02, p.A15)

1920        The Olympics dropped the tug-of-war event this year.
    (Econ, 2/8/14, p.59)

1921        Wyandotte Toys of Wyandotte, Mich., was founded and initially concentrated on toy pistols.
    (SFC, 2/15/03, p.E7)

1922        A kind of draught board in an elongated 'H' shape, together with its pieces and dice, were found during archaeological excavations at the royal cemetery in the ancient Sumerian city of Ur, known now as Tal al-Muqayyar, in southern Iraq. It took more than five decades until experts managed to match up and translate a set of rules carved into a piece of clay with the board game. It became known as the Royal Game of Ur.
    (AFP, 11/26/18)

1928        Norman Angell (1872-1967), English journalist, made one venture into economics, when he invented a card game, described in “the Money Game" (1928). This was an attempt to explain matters such as deflation and inflation in visual terms which the ordinary person could understand.

1928        John von Neumann, mathematician, conceived the strategies of game theory. In 2000 Robert Wright authored "Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny." In the 40’s and 50’s Neumann and John Nash developed game theory as a branch of mathematics.
    (WSJ, 1/23/97, p.A12)(Econ, 1/22/05, p.75)

1929               Apr 1,  Louie Marx introduced the Yo-Yo in the US.
    (OTD)(HN, 4/1/01)

1929        Aug 26, The 1st US roller coaster was built.
    (MC, 8/26/02)

1929        The game of beano involved dried beans and was first played in the US at an Atlanta carnival. It was based on an Italian game that dated back to 1530. In New York the name mutated to “Bingo" when Edwin Lowe, a toy salesman, took it there.
    (SFEC, 3/22/98, p.A25)(SFC, 7/25/98, p.B5)

1930        Herman G. Fisher (1898-1975) and Irving L. Price co-founded the Fisher-Price toy company in East Aurora, NY. Quaker Oats Company acquired the firm in 1969. Mattel Inc. acquired Fisher-Price in 1993.
    (www.hbs.edu/leadership/database/leaders/274/)(WSJ, 12/21/05, p.A8)
1930        A competition began in India, known as the Empire Games. It gathered the British empire's athletes as a way to bind together the Britain’s vast dominions. The games later became known as the Commonwealth Games.
    (AP, 10/1/10)

1931        Frederick August Otto Schwartz (FAO Schwartz) moved to uptown NYC to its flagship Fifth Avenue store. In 1986 it moved across the street.
    (WSJ, 11/21/03, p.B1)

1932        Kenton Hardware Manufacturing Co., founded in Ohio in 1890 as a lock maker, began making toy concrete mixers under the Jaeger brand name. The company closed in 1952.
    (SFC, 5/28/08, p.G2)

1932        Denmark’s LEGO Group was founded by Ole Kirk Kristiansen, a carpenter. The name came from the Danish words leg godt (play well). Christiansen and his grandson perfected toy bricks made of wood and later shifted to plastic. Lego produced its first interlocking bricks in 1949.
    (www.lego.com/en-us/aboutus/lego-group)(Econ, 4/28/12, p.76)(Econ, 3/8/14, p.71)(Econ, 1/16/16, p.46)

1933        Mar 7, George Darrow added some copyrighted art work to the board game Monopoly and began selling it commercially in Philadelphia. He sold it to Parker Brothers in 1934. The game had originally been patented in 1904 as the Landlord’s Game by Elizabeth J. Magie. In Oct 1929 Ruth Hoskins brought a version to Atlantic City, refined the rules and street names. It was later introduced to George Darrow.  
    (http://richard_wilding.tripod.com/history.htm)(HN, 3/7/98)(WSJ, 2/3/05, p.W12)

1934        Dec, Parker Brothers purchased the game of Monopoly from George Darrow and rewrote the rules. George Parker had rejected the 1st version of Monopoly submitted by Darrow and cited 52 fundamental errors. In 2003 Philip E. Orbanes authored "The Game Makers: The Story of the Parker Brothers, from Tiddley winks to Trivial Pursuit."
    (Econ, 11/22/03, p.81)(www.adena.com/adena/mo/mo11.htm)

1934        Daisy Manufacturing introduced a Buck Rogers toy pistol.
    (SFC, 4/13/05, p.G4)

1935        Jan, Parker Brothers launched the Monopoly game acquired from George Darrow and by mid February were selling 20,000 sets per week.

1935        Mar 16, Aron Nimzowitsch (b.1886), a Latvian-born Danish chess player, died. In 1925 he authored “My System," which he described as a chess manual based on entirely new principles.
    (WSJ, 3/22/08, p.W10)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aron_Nimzowitsch)

1939         Los Angeles banned pinball machines after they became considered devices for gambling. The ban was overturned by the Supreme Court of California in 1974. Pinball was banned beginning in the early 1940s until 1976 in NYC.
    (SFC, 6/20/14, p.A1)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinball)
1939        William Gruber and Harold Graves produced the 1st View-Master in Portland. 2 cameras were used to create stereo images. They were introduced at the New York World’s Fair and became an overnight sensation. In 2009 Fisher-Price eliminated almost all of its View Master titles, except for a handful of children’s titles.
    (SFC, 8/31/00, p.C8)(Econ, 3/14/09, p.34)

1941        Jan 11, Emanuel Lasker (b.1868), German mathematician and chess player, died. In 1927 he authored “Lasker’s Manual of Chess."
    (WSJ, 3/22/08, p.W10)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emanuel_Lasker)

1943        Mar 9, Bobby Fischer (d.2008), first American world chess champion (1972-1975), was born. He later authored “Bobby Fischer’s Games of Chess."
    (HN, 3/9/99)(SFC, 9/7/01, p.D5)(SFC, 1/19/08, p.A2)

1943        Apr 7, The NFL adopted its free substitution rule.
    (MC, 4/7/02)

1943        Richard James (d.1974) observed a torsion spring balance bounce off a ship’s deck while working at a Philadelphia shipyard and conceived the idea of a "slinky" toy for children, named by his wife Betty James (d.2008). In 1945 they founded James Industries. In 1998 the company was sold to POOF Products of Michigan.
    (IBCC, 10/97, #9)(SSFC, 11/23/08, p.B9)

1944        Jul 13, Erno Rubik, inventor (Rubik's cube), was born in Budapest.
    (MC, 7/13/02)

1946        Aug 21, Lev Alburt, USSR International Chess Master (1976), was born.
    (SC, 8/21/02)

1946        Lincoln Toys began operating in Walkerville, Ont., and continued to 1958.
    (SFC, 10/1/08, p.G6)

1946        The Mattel toy company was co-founded by Ruth Handler, her husband Elliot, and Harold “Matt" Mattson. The name came from a combination of Matt and Elliot. In 2009 Jerry Oppenheimer authored “Toy Monster: The Big, Bad world of Mattel."
    (WSJ, 2/18/09, p.A15)

1947        Parker Brothers launched the board game Clue.
    (Econ, 11/22/03, p.81)

1947        Tonka toys were introduced by Mound Metalcraft, located in Mound, Minnesota, near Lake Minnetonka.
    (SFC, 8/23/06, p.G7)

1948        Spud Melin (d.2002) and Richard Knerr (1925-2008) started a mail-order toy company in southern California named Wham-O to market sling-shots. In 1982 they sold the company to Kransco Manufacturing for $12 million.
    (SFC, 7/1/02, p.B5)(WSJ, 1/19/08, p.A10)

1948        The London-based Mondo company began producing rubber balls for a local fistball game. It grew to become a major maker of prefabricated running track.
    (SFC, 3/17/11, p.72)

1950        Mar 2, Silly Putty was introduced to the public. Silly Putty was accidentally invented in 1943 by James Wright of General Electric.

1950        John Nash (1928-2015) published his groundbreaking work on game theory.
    (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Forbes_Nash,_Jr.)(Econ, 5/30/15, p.90)

1951        Mar 8, The Int’l. Table Tennis Federation banned Egypt for refusing to play Israel.
    (MC, 3/8/02)

1951        May 23, Anatoli Karpov, world chess champion (1975-85), was born in the USSR.
    (MC, 5/23/02)

1951        The video game NIM was created for the Festival of Britain. It was played on Nimrod, a computer developed by the Ferranti electronics firm.
    (Econ, 12/10/11, SR p.12)

1952        Apr 25, American Bowling Congress approved use of an automatic pinsetter.
    (SS, 4/25/02)

1952        May 1, Mr. Potato Head was introduced.
    (MC, 5/1/02)

1954        May 1, Legos, founded by Danish carpenter Ole Kirk Christiansen, became a registered trademark in Denmark.

1955        Jan 19, "Scrabble" debuted in the board game market.
    (MC, 1/19/02)

1955        Wham-O purchased a plastic disc from building inspector Fred Morrison, who had developed it after watching Yale students toss Frisbee Co. pie tins [see Jan 13, 1957].
    (SFC, 7/1/02, p.B5)

1957        Jan 13, The Wham-O Company produced the 1st Frisbee. It was initially called the Pluto Platter.
    (SFC, 7/1/02, p.B5)(MC, 1/13/02)

1957        Jun 7, Mrs. Elizabeth S. Kingsley, double-Crostic puzzle creator, died.
    (SC, 6/7/02)

1957        Jul 22, Walter "Fred" Morrison applied for a patent for a "flying toy" which became known as the Frisbee.
    (AP, 7/22/07)

1957        The first Toys R US store opened. The company was founded by Charles Lazarus, who opened Children's Bargain Town, a baby furniture store, in Washington, DC. It became a public company in 1978. In 2017 the company filed for bankruptcy and in 2018 filed a plan to close or sell its 740 stores in the US.
    (SFC, 3/16/18, p.C3)

1958        Jun 19, Entrepreneurs Richard Knerr and Arthur Melin sought a trademark for a plastic cylinder based on a similar toy in Australia. Wham-O began selling the Hula Hoop following a demonstration of a rattan hoop imported from Australia. After one year teenagers in the US purchased some 100 million hoops at a suggested retail price of $1.98.
    (SFC, 7/1/02, p.B5)(SFC, 6/19/08, p.C3)

1958        Charles Harrison (1931-2018), an African-American designer, was put in charge of redesigning the 3-D View-Master, first introduced in 1939. He made it lighter, more durable and easy enough to be used by a child. In 1961 he was hired by Sears and became the company's first black executive.
    (SFC, 12/7/18, p.C12)
1958        Legos, the toy Lego building block kit with simple red bricks, was introduced with 8-stud bricks that could be combined 24 ways. The company was founded by Danish carpenter Ole Kirk Christiansen in 1932. Legos became a registered trademark in 1954. The name was derived from “les godt," Danish for play well.
    (SFC, 1/9/99, p.B8)(Econ, 10/28/06, p.76)
1958        In central Moscow Detsky Mir (Children's World), a new huge toy store, opened. In 2008 the hulking block-long building across from the KGB's notorious Lubyanka headquarters closed for a 3-year, $200 million renovation project.
    (AP, 7/2/08)

1959        Mar 9, The Barbie doll was unveiled at the American Toy Fair in New York City. The Barbie Doll No. 1 was introduced by Mattel Toy Company for $3. Ruth Handler (d.2002), co-founder of Mattel, had spotted the German Bild-Lilli doll in 1956 and asked toy designer Jack Ryan (d.1991) to create a version for American girls. The first dolls were produced by Mattel Toy Co. in Hawthorne, Ca. In 1994 one sold for $4000 as a collector’s item.
    (WSJ, 12/9/94, p.R-8)(SSFC, 4/28/02, p.A2)(SFC, 5/31/05, p.E1)(WSJ, 2/18/09, p.A15)

1959        Oct, NBC fired Dr. Howard Felsher (1927-2018) after he testified in Washington DC that the new evening version of the "Tic-Tac-Dough" game show was rigged to generate excitement. NBC took over production of the show from Jack Barry and Dan Enright after several contestants alleged that that the "Twenty-One" game show, another Barry & Enright production, was also rigged.
    (SFC, 8/2/18, p.D2)

1959        Parker Brothers launched the board game Risk.
    (Econ, 11/22/03, p.81)

c1960        The Visible Man toy was created by Marcel Jovine (d.2003 at 81) and was soon followed by Visible Woman.
    (SFC, 1/28/03, p.A15)

1960s        The DoodelMaster Magic Screen toy, made in England, was acquired by Ohio Art Toy and renamed  Etch A Sketch.
    (SFC, 6/15/00, p.C6)

1961        Mattel toys introduced the Ken doll, and marketed it as Barbie’s boyfriend.
    (SFC, 1/14/98, Z1 p.2)

1962        Denys Fisher, an English inventor, made a tool to help draw waves for scientific use, but it was not adopted. His family thought it would a good toy for children and in 1965 it was made into a kit and showed at an int’l. toy show. Kenner bought the toy and sold it as the Spirograph.
    (SFC, 10/17/07, p.G2)

1963        Apr 13, Gary Kimovich Kasparov, world chess champion (1985-2000), was born in the USSR.
    (MC, 4/13/02)(SFC, 1/16/04, p.D19)

1964        Feb - 1964 Mar, Hasbro launched the G.I. Joe action figure debuted as a popular American toy at the annual toy fair in NYC.
    (SFC, 7/10/04, p.F11)(SFC, 2/7/14, p.A12)

1965        Nov 1, Edward Headrick (d.2002) of Wham-O patented the Flying Saucer, an improved Frisbee with concentric ridges that improved flight.
    (SFC, 8/13/02, p.A20)

1965        Three fathers in Washington state threw together wooden paddles, a badminton net, and a perforated plastic ball creating a sport that became known as pickleball. A dog named pickle reportedly kept running away with the ball.
    (Econ., 1/30/21, p.21)

1967        Aug 28, Charles Darrow (b.1889), US inventor of Monopoly, died in Pennsylvania.

1969        The US National Commission on Product Safety recommended that 8 toys be banned including the Zulu toy gun, which shot plastic darts, the Empire Little Lady Stove, which had racks that could heat to 600 degrees, and the Bird of Paradise slingshot, with razor-sharp missiles. The commission urged Congress to pass new legislation banning toys based on their electrical, mechanical or thermal qualities.
    (WSJ, 12/3/07, p.B1)

1970        Aug, The first all-computer championship was held in New York and won by CHESS 3.0 (CDC 6400), a program written by Slate, Atkin and Gorlen at Northwestern University. Six programs had entered the first Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) North American Computer Championships. The event was organized by Monty Newborn. The other programs were DALY CP, J Brit, COKO III, SCHACH, and the Marsland CP.

1971        Keith Wylie (1945-1999), British croquet star, in the Open Championship completed "the sextuple peel," which involved knocking a ball through 6 hoops using another ball. He authored "Expert Croquet Tactics" in 1985.
    (SFC, 12/7/99, p.B4)(www.mauicroquetclub.org/people/KeithWylie.htm)

1972        Sep 1, American Bobby Fischer won the international chess crown in Reykjavik, Iceland, defeating Boris Spassky of the Soviet Union. In 2004 David Edmonds and John Eidinow authored "Bobby Fischer Goes to War: How the Soviets Lost the Most Extraordinary Chess Match of All Time."
    (AP, 9/1/97)(SSFC, 2/07/04, p.M1)

1972        Sep 4, In San Francisco the Playland-at-the-Beach amusement park was bulldozed on Labor Day Weekend. Playland shut its gates and some 40 Fascination tables were transferred to a Market Street arcade. Fascination was invented by John Gibbs of Los Angeles and combined the skill of bowling with the luck of Bingo. The head of Laughing Sal was stolen on closure and turned up in 2004.
    (SFC, 8/5/00, p.A1)(SSFC, 3/14/04, p.B2)(SSFC, 7/3/05, p.F6)(SFC, 5/31/08, p.B2)

1972        Atari was founded by Nolan Bushnell, 2 years after he built the first videogame, Computer Space. He conceived Pong and it was built by Allan Alcorn. Atari co-founders Samuel Dabney (1937-2018) and Nolan Bushnell helped create the hit console game Pong.
    (Wired, 10/96, p.168)(SSFC, 6/3/18, p.C4)

1973        Jul 4, Leonid Stein (b.1934), Soviet Grandmaster chess player from the Ukraine, died of a heart attack.

1974        Hungarian professor Erno Rubik designed the Rubik's Cube. Sales peaked at 100 million in 1980. Some 250 million units were sold worldwide.
    (WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R34)(SFC, 8/8/03, p.D1)

1974        Gary Gygax (1938-2008) and David Arneson (d.2009 at 61), having founded Tactical Studies Rules (TSR), published Dungeons & Dragons, a role-playing game. Gygax and Don Kaye had founded Tactical Studies Rules (TSR), a publishing firm in 1973. In 1997 TSR was sold to Wizards of the Coast. 
    (Econ, 3/15/08, p.102)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_Gygax)(SFC, 4/11/09, p.B3)

1974        Japan-based Nintendo secured the Japanese distribution rights to the Magnavox Odyssey, the world’s first games console.
    (Econ, 12/1/12, p.73)

1975        Apr 3, Bobby Fischer (1943-2008) was stripped of world chess title for refusing to defend it.

1975        Sep 26, Herman G. Fisher (b.1898), co-founder of the Fisher-Price toy company (1930), died. In 1930 he got together with Irving Price and Helen Schelle to establish a toy company under the name of Fisher-Price.

1975        Edward Headrick (d.2002) invented the golf, for Frisbee players.
    (SFC, 9/26/03, p.A1)

1975        Mattel introduced its "Growing up Skipper" doll. When her arms were twisted she would grow taller and her breasts would get larger.
    (SFC,1/22/97, Z1 p.7)

1976        Dec 1, In San Francisco BART officials installed an arcade of video games on the platform of the Powell Street station.
    (SFC, 10/20/18, p.C1)

1977        Apr 23, Dr. Allen Bussey completed 20,302 yo-yo loops in Waco, Texas.

1977        In Japan Bandai began making capsule toys, the majority of them were cheap, sold mostly at 20 yen, and were of poor quality. A craze for such toys really took off in 2012 when Tokyo-based manufacturer Kitan Club launched its "Koppu no Fuchico" ("Fuchico at the edge of a glass") product.
    (AP, 12/13/17)

1978        Jul 11, Christa Tybus of London set a 24 hrs hula-hoop record.

1979        Feb 25, James Williams and Gene Stewart of Redwood City won the 18th world championship domino tournament in San Francisco.
    (SFC, 2/20/04, p.E4)

1979        Dec 14, The Seminole Tribe opened a high-stakes bingo hall on their reservation at Hollywood, Florida, and the state tried immediately to shut it down. This was followed by a series of court battles leading to a final decision by the United States Supreme Court in 1981 “Seminole Tribe vs. Butterworth."  The court ruled in favor of the Seminoles affirming their right to operate their bingo hall.

1979        David Sudnow authored “Pilgrim in the Microworld." It described his obsession with a game called Breakout on the Atari 2600. It came out in paperback in 1983.
    (Econ, 12/10/11, p.10)(www.alibris.com/search/books/isbn/9780446375214)
1979        Canadian Scott Abbott, a sports editor for The Canadian Press, and Chris Haney (1950-2010), a photo editor for Montreal's The Gazette, created the Trivial Pursuit game. With the help of John Haney and Ed Werner, they completed the development of the game, which was released in 1982. Hasbro bought the rights to game for $80 million in 2008.
    (AP, 6/2/10)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trivial_Pursuit)
1979        Carol Shaw became the first female video game designer with the release of her Atari game, 3D Tic-Tac-Toe.
    (SFC, 2/18/14, p.A6)

1980        May 22, The computer game Pac-Man was first released in Japan. Pac-Man, with its characters: Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde, epitomized the arcade games of the 1980s.
    (SFC, 7/5/97, p.E1)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pac-Man)

1980        Richard X Zawitz created his handheld Tangle in San Francisco out of plastic and a larger chrome Tangle sold at museum shops. The twistable playthings had started out as a 3-foot-long walnut wood sculpture made of several 90-degree joints. The toy pieces were manufactured in China.
    (SFC, 12/24/21, p.A9)

1982        John Maynard (1920-2004), English biologist, authored "Evolution and the Theory of Games."
    (SSFC, 4/25/04, p.B7)
1982        San Francisco Mayor Diane Feinstein accepted a $1 million dollar pledge from Atari, creator of the Pac-Man arcade game, to help save the cable car system.
    (SFC, 12/2/17, p.D1)
1982        In Nepal elephant polo began under the direction of Jim Edwards, a jungle safari organizer.
    (WSJ, 1/16/98, p.A1)

1983        Atari dumped 728,000 cartridges of its video game “E.T." into a landfill in New Mexico following disappointing sales of what many called the worst video game ever. In 2014 a documentary film company recovered a number of the cartridges that were still playable.
    (SSFC, 4/27/14, p.A2)

1984        May 26, A frisbee was kept aloft for 1,672 seconds in Philadelphia.
    (MC, 5/26/02)

1984        In Russia Alexander Pajitnov, a computer programmer at the Moscow Academy of Science, invented the game "Tetris" on an old Electronica 60 computer. He gave up the rights to the game to the State for ten years. In 1985 it was introduced on the IBM and Commodore 64 and ported to handheld devices in 1989. In 1996 rights for the game reverted back to Pajitnov. He and Henk Rogers soon founded Blue Planet Software to manage the Tetris rights.
    (SFC, 7/7/96, C5)(SFC, 6/3/09, p.C5)(SFC, 6/6/14, p.E3)

1985        Nintendo Co. of Japan launched its first home video game console: the Nintendo Entertainment System with “Super Mario Bros." included. In Japan it was known as the Family Computer or Famicom.
    (Hem, 4/96, p.29)(Econ, 12/24/16, p.68)

1986        The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation opened its first bingo hall in Connecticut. Since the invention of the internet, however, bingo online has become the preferred method of play.
    (Econ, 5/17/08, p.40)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_bingo)

1987        The “Winnie the Pooh" stuffed animals, the original toys of author A.A. Milne, given to publisher E.P. Dutton in 1947, were turned over to the New York Public Library. In 1998 the British requested that they be returned to England.
    (SFC, 2/5/98, p.A12)

1988        The first John Madden Football computer game was produced by Electronic Arts. EA founder Trip Hawkins had earlier gained permission to produce the game from John Madden, coach of the Oakland Raiders. EA programmer Robin Antonick wrote the initial code for the game which went on to generate over $4 billion for EA.
    (SFC, 7/22/13, p.A6)
1988        In New Zealand the first commercial bungee jumping operation began at Queenstown’s 154-foot-high Kawarau Bridge.
    (SSFC, 11/10/13, p.M3)

1989        The Brooklyn Salvation Army began to allow the Elite Pool Checker Club to play regularly in their library.
    (WSJ, 10/22/02, p.A17)

1990        Dec 26, Garry Kasparov beat Anatoly Karpov to retain chess championship.

1991        Mar, The video game “Street Fighter II" was released in Japan by Capcom. It introduced female characters. It was a sequel to Capcom's 1987 fighting game Street Fighter.
    (SFC, 2/15/11, p.E5)

1990        Toy company FAO Schwartz sold out to Dutch Company Koninklijke Bijenkorf Beheer.
    (WSJ, 11/21/03, p.B1)

1991        The war strategy game Civilization, created by Sid Meier (b.1954), was published and became a sensation among PC gamers. In 2020 Civilization VI was released.
    (WSJ, 7/2/10, p.W9)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sid_Meier)(Econ., 5/30/20, p.74)

1992        Sep 1, Defying a U.S. government warning, Bobby Fischer announced he would play his one-time rival, Boris Spassky, in a $5 million chess match in Yugoslavia despite United Nations-imposed sanctions.
    (AP, 9/1/97)

1992        Nov 5, Bobby Fischer beat Boris Spassky to win the Chess title in Belgrade. Fischer received $3.5 million for his win, but violated UN sanctions and an embargo on doing business in Yugoslavia. In 2004 he was arrested in Japan for traveling on a revoked USD passport.
    (www.ishipress.com/bobby-in.htm)(SFC, 7/17/04, p.A2)

1992        The video game “Mortal Combat II" was released. It became know for its bloody graphics.
    (SFC, 2/15/11, p.E5)

1993        Apr 4, Alfred Mosher Butts (b.1899), US architect and inventor of the Scrabble game, died.
    (WSJ, 6/28/01, p.B1)(MC, 4/4/02)

1993        Aug 19, Mattel and Fisher Price toys announced a merger.

1993        Mattel introduced its “Earing Magic Ken" doll, which gave him a pierced left ear.
    (ST, 7/29/04, p.C8)

1993        The fantasy card game Magic: The Gathering was created.
    (SFC, 9/1/04, p.B1)

1993        The computer game "Mortal Combat" sparked a controversy in Congress over video game violence.
    (SFC, 7/5/97, p.E1)

1993        The computer game "Myst" swept the US with its eerie puzzle plot.
    (SFC, 7/5/97, p.E1)

1994        Aug 31, In the London Intel Speed Chess Grand Prix a Pentium computer beat world chess champ Gari Kasparov.

1994        Dec 3, Japan’s Sony Corp. launched its PlayStation game console.
    (WSJ, 3/7/05, p.A8)(Econ, 12/10/11, SR p.4)

1994        John Bowes (1928-2005), SF businessman, and John Rosekrans sold the assets of their Kransco Group Cos. to Mattel and netted over $350 million. Kransco had acquired Wham-O and popularized such toys as Frisbee, Slip’N-Slide, and hula hoop.
    (SFC, 10/28/05, p.B7)
1995        The real-time strategy video game "Command & Conquer" was released by Westwood Studios.
    (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Command_%26_Conquer)(Econ., 7/6/20, p.54)
1995        The colonization board game “Settlers of Catan" began a new boom in board games.
    (Econ, 8/30/08, p.52)
1995        The first Internet gambling casino opened, but games could only be played for fun. The first real money Internet casino opened in 1996.
    (SFC, 7/2/07, p.C1)

1996        Jun 22, A Texas firm called id Software released a video game called “Quake," featuring a fully three-dimensional world.
    (Econ, 6/18/16, p.79)

1996        Dec 15, The Tyco Toys Tickle Me Elmo stuffed animal that giggles and says "that tickles" when squeezed retailed for $30 and was flying out of stores. It was based on a character from the children’s TV show Sesame Street.
    (WSJ, 12/16/96, p.B1)(WSJ, 9/15/06, p.B1)

1997        May 1, Virtual Pets began to be marketed by Tiger Electronics and Bandai Ltd. of Japan. The egg-sized gadgets played out the lives of various animals on a liquid crystal display.
    (WSJ, 5/2/97, p.B1)

1997        May 3, World chess champion Garry Kasparov won the first game of his rematch with IBM's Deep Blue computer. However, he lost the six-game match.
    (AP, 5/3/98)

1997        May 4, IBM's Deep Blue computer defeated world chess champion Garry Kasparov, evening their six-game series at one game apiece.
    (AP, 5/4/98)

1997        May 6, World chess champion Garry Kasparov and IBM's Deep Blue computer played to a draw in game three of their six-game match.
    (AP, 5/6/98)

1997        May 11, The "Deep Blue" IBM computer demolished an overwhelmed Garry Kasparov and won the six-game chess match between man and machine in New York.
    (AP, 5/11/98)

1997        Jul 10, Walter Korn (b.1908), Czech-born chess authority, died. His books included "The Art of Chess Competition."
    (SFC, 7/29/97, p.A18)

1998        Mar 31, Starcraft, a military science fiction real-time strategy video game, was released in South Korea. It was developed by Blizzard Entertainment, a California-based company.
    (Econ, 10/30/10, p.71)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/StarCraft)

1998        Oct 22, The US government announced one of the biggest toys recalls ever, advising parents to remove batteries from Fisher-Price Power Wheels cars and trucks because of faulty wiring.
    (AP, 10/22/99)

1998        Nov 27, Shoppers on Black Friday crowded shopping centers and the new Furby toys, a furry talking toy, was creating a mania. Black Friday was used to describe the big shopping day following Thanksgiving that put stores into the black.
    (SFC, 11/28/98, p.A1)

1999        Mar 20, The 128-acre Legoland California, a children’s theme park, was scheduled to be completed in Carlsbad by the Danish toy company.
    (USAT, 5/7/98, p.1D)(SFC, 1/9/99, p.B8)(SFEC, 2/7/99, p.T3)

1999        David Gonzales began selling 2-inch figurines of fictional barrio residents in vending machines across the country. The "Homies" sales grew and in 2004 a Mijos line, short for "Mis Hijos," (My Kids), was introduced through K-Mart.
    (WSJ, 3/24/04, p.B1)

2000        May 6, The 1st geocaching cache was found hidden outside Portland, Oregon, by Mike Teague. [see May 3] 
    (WSJ, 3/19/02, p.A20)

2000        China banned the sale of video game consoles citing their adverse effect on the mental health of its youth. The ban was lifted in 2014 on a temporary basis.
    (Reuters, 1/7/14)
2000        Gary Kimovich Kasparov (37), world chess champion (1985-2000), lost to Vladimir Kramnik (25).
    (MC, 4/13/02)(SFC, 1/16/04, p.D19)

2001        The first commercial alternate reality game (ARG), called “The Beast," was produced as part of a promotional campaign for Steven Spielberg’s film “A.I.: Artificial Intelligence."
    (Econ, 3/7/09, TQ p.16)
2001        MGA Entertainment introduced the Bratz line of dolls based on a design by Carter Bryant, a designer from Mattel. The doll became very popular and threatened the Barbie franchise of Mattel. In 2008 the 2 companies faced each other in court. A jury ruled that the Bratz dolls were conceived while Bryant was employed by Mattel. On August 26 a federal jury in Riverside, Ca., awarded Mattel $100 million in damages. On Dec 3 a federal judge banned MGA Entertainment Inc. from making and selling Bratz dolls after the holiday season. In January, 2009, a federal judge said the company can continue to sell the toy line through 2009.
    (WSJ, 5/23/08, p.A1)(WSJ, 7/18/08, p.B1)(SFC, 8/27/08, p.C3)(SFC, 12/4/08, p.A9)(SFC, 1/8/09, p.C2)

2002        Jun 28, Spud Melin (77), co-founder of Wham-O (1948), died in Costa Mesa, Ca.
    (SFC, 7/1/02, p.B5)

2002        Aug 12, Edward Headrick (78), the man who made the Frisbee soar, died in California. He created the sport of disc golf in the 1970s.
    (SFC, 8/13/02, p.A19)

2003        Feb 7, Garry Kasparov (39), chess master, played to a 3-3 tie against the Deep Junior computer program.
    (SFC, 2/8/03, p.A2)

2003        Aug 18, A 24-year-old woman from China tipped over 303,621 dominos, breaking a long-standing record for the world's longest solo domino topple.
    (AP, 8/18/03)

2003        Aug 24, Dan Knights of San Francisco set a world record at the World Rubik's Game Championships in Toronto. His record time was an average of 20 sec.
    (SFC, 8/26/03, p.A15)

2003        Oct 23, A 3-day dominos tournament began at the Ocho Rios resort in Jamaica.
    (SFC, 10/24/03, p.D3)

2003        Dec 4, Toy seller FAO Schwartz filed for bankruptcy.
    (SFC, 12/5/03, p.B2)

2003        James Zug authored "Squash: A History of the Game."
    (WSJ, 9/26/03, p.W16)

2004        Feb 11, It was reported that Mattel planned to introduce a line of toys capable of receiving digital signals from a new Batman TV cartoon show scheduled for the Fall.
    (WSJ, 2/11/04, p.A1)

2004        Feb 12, Mattel released news that Barbie would have a new boyfriend named Blaine, an Australian boogie boarder. Barbie’s new “Cali Girl" lined was set to debut in the summer.
    (ST, 7/29/04, p.C8)

2004        Billy Gaines and Duncan Carrroll, graduates of Carnegie Mellon Univ., developed a Web site called bpong.com along with a multiplayer online beer-pong game. Beer pong had gained popularity on college campuses in the 1990s.
    (WSJ, 8/29/07, p.A10)
2004        Japan’s video game makers introduced the Nintendo DS (dual screen) and Sony PSP (PlayStation Portable).
    (Econ, 2/26/11, p.70)

2005        Mar 17, Toys R Us agreed to become a privately owned company in a $6.6 billion buyout deal that included 2 equity firms and a real estate developer.
    (SFC, 3/18/05, p.C1)

2005        Disney launched a free online game called Virtual Magic Kingdom in conjunction with its 50th anniversary. It became very popular and in 2008 fans protested plans to shut the site down.
    (WSJ, 5/20/08, p.B1)

2006        Nov 11, Sony Corp. launched its new PlayStation 3 (PS3) in Japan.
    (Econ, 11/18/06, p.63)

2006        Nov 17, Japan’s Sony Corp. launched its new PlayStation 3 (PS3) in the USA.
    (AP, 11/17/06)

2006        Nov 19, Nintendo's new Wii video game console debuted, the final entrant in the three-way scramble for dominance in the $30 billion global game market.
    (Reuters, 11/19/06)

2006        Dec 5, In Germany world chess champion Vladimir Kramnik lost the sixth and decisive game against computer program Deep Fritz, ceding a hard-fought Man vs. Machine match 4-2.
    (AP, 12/5/06)

2006        Dec 12, Online political groups, the Campaign to Defend the Constitution and the Christian Alliance for Progress, demanded that Wal-Mart dump Left Behind: Eternal Forces, a new computer game in which players must either kill or convert non-Christians.
    (SFC, 12/12/06, p.A1)

2006        Julian Dibbell authored “Play Money: Or, How I Quit My Day Job and Made Millions Trading Virtual Loot."
    (Econ, 12/10/11, p.7)
2006        The word game Bananagrams, created by Rhode Island native Abraham Nathanson (1929-2010), made its debut at the London Toy Fair. In 2009 it was named game of the year by the Toy Industry Association.
    (SFC, 6/11/10, p.C7)

2007        Apr 24, The video game “Lord of the Rings Online," developed by Turbine Inc., was released for the Microsoft Windows platform. It initially cost players $40 plus a subscription for each month played.
    (Econ, 12/10/11, SR p.7)

2007        Jul 7, Jack Odell (b.1920), British creator of the Matchbox miniature toys (1953), died. The toys were made by Lesney Products, founded by Leslie and Rodney Smith in 1947. The company went public in 1960 and bankrupt in 1982, when it was sold to Hong Kong’s Universal International Ltd. In 1997 Mattel acquired Matchbox.
    (WSJ, 1/14/07, p.A4)

2007        Aug 2, Beijing and Washington agreed to cooperate more closely on product and food safety as the US recalled almost 1 million toys due to lead concerns. Mattel apologized to customers as it recalled nearly a million Chinese-made toys from its Fisher-Price division that were found to have excessive amounts of lead.
    (AP, 8/3/07)(SFC, 8/3/07, p.D1)(AP, 8/2/08)

2007        Sep 21, Mattel Inc, apologized for damaging China's reputation after recent massive recalls of its Chinese-made toys, admitting it targeted some goods that were actually up to scratch.
    (AP, 9/21/07)

2007        Oct 14, In California Gov. Schwarzenegger signed legislation banning toys that contain toxic plastic softeners, i.e. phthalates, becoming the first state in the US to do so.
    (SFC, 10/16/07, p.A1)

2007        Dec 12, Thailand smashed through the 100-gold barrier at the SEA Games as they continued their relentless pursuit of top spot on the medals table.
    (AFP, 12/12/07)

2007        Edward McPherson authored “The Backwash Squeeze & Other Improbable Feats: A Newcomer's Journey into the World of Bridge."
    (WSJ, 8/4/07, p.P8)
2007        Lumos Labs launched Lumosity, a website of online games designed to improve users’ cognitive performance.
    (Econ, 8/10/13, p.56)
2007        Mark Pincus founded Zynga Game Network. The company had a smash hit with the social online game FarmVille in 2009. By the end of 2010 the San Francisco-based company was valued at $5.4 billion.
    (SFC, 11/19/10, p.D8)

2008        Jan 14, Richard Knerr (82), co-founder of the toy company that popularized the Hula Hoop, Frisbee and other fads that became classics, died. Knerr started Wham-O in 1948 with his childhood friend Arthur "Spud" Melin.
    (AP, 1/17/08)

2008        Mar 4, Gary Gygax (b.1938), co-creator of the role-playing Dungeons & Dragons game, died in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Gygax and Don Kaye had founded Tactical Studies Rules (TSR) in 1973. In 1974 Gygax and David Arneson published D&D. In 1997 TSR was sold to Wizards of the Coast.
    (WSJ, 3/8/08, p.A7)(Econ, 3/15/08, p.102)

2008        Apr 29, The videogame “Grand Theft Auto IV," produced by Take-Two Interactive Software, hit the stores with expectations of record sales. First week sales topped $50 million.
    (WSJ, 4/29/08, p.B7)(WSJ, 5/8/08, p.B8)

2008        Jun 10, In NYC a million pieces of stainless steel toy parts assembled into a nearly seven-story model skyscraper glimmered under the hot sun. It was created by American artist Chris Burden (b.1946). The 16,000-pound (7,250-kg) "poetic interpretation" of the 30 Rock Building at Rockefeller Center was made of replicated Erector set pieces from the toy created by A.C. Gilbert in 1912.
    (Reuters, 6/11/08)

2008        Oct 29, In Germany Viswanathan Anand of India retained his world chess title by drawing with the white pieces against Russian challenger Vladimir Kramnik.
    (AP, 10/30/08)

2008        Nov 13, The 38th Chess Olympiad started in Dresden, Germany. It included 146 teams in the open division, often referred to as the men's division although it includes a few women. The separate women's division included 111 teams.
    (AP, 11/19/08)

2008        Nov 25 Armenia won its second straight gold medal at the Chess Olympiad in Germany by defeating China 2.5-1.5 in the 11th and final round.
    (AP, 11/26/08)

2008        Toy maker Chris Nee pitched her Doc McStuffins doll idea to Disney executives. The company changed the doll’s race from white to black and by 2013 it was a top seller.
    (SSFC, 12/8/13, p.D7)

2009        Jan 30, Hans Beck (79), creator of the colorful plastic Playmobil toy figures that sold by the millions around the world, died in Germany. Beck had created and developed the 3-inch (7.5-centimeter) tall line of figures for the company in 1971. they were dubbed Playmobil and brought to market in 1974.
    (AP, 2/4/09)

2009        Apr 9, Dave Arneson (61), co-creator of the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy game (1974) and a pioneer of role-playing entertainment, died after a two-year battle with cancer.
    (AP, 4/10/09)(SFC, 4/11/09, p.B3)

2009        May 27, Toys R Us Inc. said it acquired toy retailer FAO Schwarz, which has struggled for years through bankruptcies amid tough competition from discount stores.
    (AP, 5/28/09)

2009        Jun, Facebook introduced the online FarmVille game created by Zynga. Facebook shut down the game on Dec. 31, 2020. Flash, the software that powered the game, also shut down.
    (NY Times, 12/31/20)

2008        Jul 9, US electronic games publisher Activision under Bobby Kotick closed its merger with the gaming arm of Vivendi, a French media conglomerate, in a deal valued at $18.8 billion.
    (Econ, 8/15/09, p.60)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Activision_Blizzard)

2009        Oct 1, Mattel planned to release its Mindflex toy, which allowed users to lift a ball and send it through an obstacle course using brain control interface technology.
    (SSFC, 9/6/09, p.A8)

2009        Sep 9, In South Korea performers from around the world have gathered on the South Korean island of Jeju for this week's international Delphic Games, popularly known as the "Culture Olympics." The first Delphic Games of the modern era were held in Russia in 2000 and the second in Malaysia in 2005.
    (AP, 9/9/09)

2009        Sep 24, Japan’s Tokyo Game Show, billed as the world's largest computer entertainment fest, kicked off with hopes that depressed sales of game consoles will enjoy a holiday resurrection.
    (AP, 9/24/09)
2009        Sep 24, In Spain Garry Kasparov soundly defeated Anatoly Karpov in an exhibition chess match marking the 25th anniversary of their first title bout.
    (AP, 9/25/09)

2009        Oct 1, Mattel planned to release its Mindflex toy, which allowed users to lift a ball and send it through an obstacle course using brain control interface technology.
    (SSFC, 9/6/09, p.A8)

2009        Nov 10, The hotly-anticipated video game "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2" was launched in Britain amid a political row over its levels of violence.
    (AFP, 11/10/09)

2009        Dec 5, The Defense Advance Research projects Agency (DARPA) conducted an experiment challenging teams around the country to locate the submit the correct geographic coordinates of 10 weather balloons in return for a $40,000 cash prize. Over 4,000 teams participated and the winning answer came after 8 hours and 56 minutes. Social networking sites played a major role in the game theory simulation. Riley Crane, a post doc research fellow at MIT’s media lab, led the winning team using an elaborate information gathering pyramid.
    (SFC, 12/7/09, p.A9)

2009        Nov 10, Activision released its new video game “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2." Sales over the next 5 days brought in $550 million breaking records in several countries.
    (Econ, 12/5/09, p.77)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_Warfare_2)

2009        Dec, Finnish computer game developer Rovio Mobile released “Angry Birds," a puzzle video game. It was inspired primarily by a sketch of stylized wingless birds and was first released for Apple's iOS.
    (Econ, 12/10/11, SR p.5)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angry_Birds)

2009        James McManus authored “Cowboys Full: The Story of Poker."
    (SSFC, 12/20/09, Books p.E6)

2009        Silly Bandz, rubber band bracelets of various shapes, became a fad among kids in Alabama and then across the nation. Robert Croak of Ohio began manufacturing and marketing the product after seeing a similar item from Japan in 2007. A pack of 24 was priced at around $5.
    (SSFC, 7/11/10, Par p.12)(http://tinyurl.com/3ac3cm6)
2009        Riot Games, an American firm, launched the "League of Legends" video game. The firm was later acquire by Tencent, China's biggest tech firm.
    (Econ., 6/27/20, p.49)

2010        Jan 4, The Norwegian Chess Federation said Magnus Carlsen (19) is the youngest person to hold the title since ratings were introduced in 1971.
    (AP, 1/4/10)

2010        Feb 9, Walter Fredrick Morrison (90), the man credited with inventing the Frisbee, died at his home in Monroe, Utah. Morrison began manufacturing his flying discs in 1948. He sold the production and manufacturing rights to his "Pluto Platter" in 1957. The plastic flying disc was later renamed the "Frisbee," with sales surpassing 200 million discs.
    (AP, 2/11/10)

2010        Mar 27, In Russia former Soviet world chess champion Vasily Smyslov (89) died of heart failure. Smyslov beat Mikhail Botvinnik in 1957 to become the seventh world champion, before losing in a re-match the following year. His career in the top flight of world chess spanned some four decades. He was beaten by Garry Kasparov  in 1984 in the Candidates Final match for the right to challenge Anatoly Karpov for the world title, which Kasparov went on to capture.
    (Reuters, 3/27/10)

2010        May 8, In Hungary Andor Lilienthal (99), the last surviving member of 27 original grandmaster chess players, died in Budapest.
    (AP, 5/8/10)

2010        May 31, Chris Haney (b.1950), co-creator of the Trivial Pursuit (1979) game, died in Toronto.
    (SFC, 6/2/10, p.C4)

2010        Oct 3, In India the troubled Commonwealth Games got underway with a glittering opening ceremony in a fortress-like New Delhi after a shambolic run-up that threatened to derail the event.
    (AFP, 10/3/10)

2010        Oct 14, In India the Commonwealth Games ended after 11 days of fiery competition that went some way to mending the damage done to Indian pride and prestige tarnished by the chaotic buildup to the event.
    (AFP, 10/14/10)

2010        Nov 2, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors passed a law that cracks down on the popular practice of giving away free toys with unhealthy restaurant meals for children. The law, which would take effect on December 1, would allow toys to be given away with kids' meals that have less than 600 calories, contain fruits and vegetables, and include beverages without excessive fat or sugar. Mayor Newsom vetoed the measure on Nov 13. On Nov 23 the board overrode the veto.
    (Reuters, 11/3/10)(http://tinyurl.com/25458to)(SFC, 11/24/10, p.C1)

2010        Nov 4, Microsoft released Kinect, a motion-tracking peripheral for the Xbox console. Scientists soon found uses multiple other uses for the device.
    (SFC, 1/10/11, p.D1)

2010        Nov 9, The $60 Activision Blizzard video game “Call of Duty: Black Ops" was released. It raked in a record $360 million in the first 24 hours of sales and $650 million in the first 5 days.
    (SFC, 11/12/10, p.D3)(Econ, 12/10/11, SR p.3)

2010        Nov 27, In China an "extraordinary" Asian Games closed after 15 days of thrills and spills that saw China reinforce its sporting credentials as 45 countries and territories took part. China’s final gold tally reached 199 and its total medals to 416, both Asian Games records.
    (AFP, 11/27/10)

2010        Bruce Lourie and Rick Smith authored “Slow Death by Rubber Duck: The Secret Danger of Everyday Things."
    (SFC, 3/12/10, p.F8)

2011        Jan 25, It was reported that Poland's state-run National Remembrance Institute has created a new game called "Kolejka," or "Queue," to help young Poles understand the hardships of life under communism. It goes on sale Feb. 5.
    (AP, 1/25/11)

2011        Feb 26, In Japan Nintendo's latest game machine, offering glasses-free 3-D images, went on sale ahead of a global rollout. Analysts said it promises to be the world's first 3-D mass-market product.
    (AP, 2/26/11)

2011        Mar, IBM began teaching a computer chip, called Synapse, to play Pong. The chip was designed to learn through experience and after a few weeks it was nearly unbeatable.
    (SFC, 11/7/11, p.D1)

2011        Apr 15, Indictments were unsealed in Manhattan against 11 people including the founders of three of the largest online poker sites open to US players. PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker were charged with bank fraud, money laundering and violating gambling laws.
    (SFC, 4/16/11, p.A6)(Econ, 4/23/11, p.68)

2011        Apr 19, Sony Corp. in the US noticed unauthorized activity on its network, and discovered that data had been transferred off the network the next day. The company's general counsel gave the FBI information about the breach on April 22.
    (AP, 5/4/11)

2011        Apr 20, South Korean telecoms operator KT rolled out Kibot, a robot playmate for children, in a move aimed at cashing in on the potentially lucrative industry.
    (AFP, 4/20/11)

2011        Apr 21, Mattel Inc, after waging a seven-year legal war against a tiny California company, suffered a surprise defeat after a US jury decided that MGA Entertainment Inc is the rightful owner of the once-billion dollar line of pouty-lipped Bratz dolls.
    (AP, 4/21/11)

2011        May 23, Bradley Franzen (41) pleaded guilty in a Manhattan court to bank fraud, money laundering and illegal gambling offenses. The US president of a Costa Rica-based company faced up to 30 years in prison for illegally processing payments for Internet poker firms.
    (AFP, 5/23/11)

2011        May 25, Austrian authorities filed incitement charges against a right-wing politician for commissioning a video game that required players to target and stop mosques, minarets and muezzins as they pop up on a screen.
    (AP, 5/25/11)

2011        Jun 19, Japanese game maker Sega said hackers have stolen the personal data of some 1.29 million customers of the, in a theft via a website of its European unit.
    (AP, 6/19/11)

2011        Jun 27, The US Supreme Court refused to let California regulate the sale or rental of violent video games to children, saying governments do not have the power to "restrict the ideas to which children may be exposed" despite complaints about graphic violence.
    (AP, 6/27/11)

2011        Oct 14, An Austrian court found right-wing politician Gerhard Kurzmann not guilty of charges of incitement for posting a video game called "Moschee Baba," that required players to target and stop mosques, minarets and muezzins as they appear on a screen.
    (AP, 10/14/11)

2011        Nov 8, Activision released the video game “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3," developed Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games. It sold a record $750 million in its first five days.
    (Econ, 12/10/11, SR p.3)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Call_of_Duty:_Modern_Warfare_3)

2011        Nov 11, Indonesia opened the 26th Southeast Asian Games with more than 6,000 athletes from 11 countries participating in the biennial games.
    (AP, 11/12/11)

2011        Nov 22, In Indonesia the Southeast Asian Games were formally closed by Indonesia Vice President Budiono. Indonesia earned a table-topping 182 golds among 476 medals, followed by Thailand with 109 among 329.
    (AP, 11/22/11)

2011        Dec 16, Zynga, a SF-based internet game company, went public for $10 a share, valuing the company at $1 billion. Shares closed down 5% at $9.50.
    (SFC, 12/16/11, p.A1)(SFC, 12/17/11, p.A1)

2011        Jane McGonigal authored “Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can change the World."
    (Econ, 3/19/11, p.94)
2011        Skee-ball Inc. (SBI), the Pennsylvania maker of the skee-ball machine, sued the Brooklyn-based Brewskee-ball League for infringing on its century-old trademark.
    (Econ, 7/19/14, p.29)

2012        Jan 17, It was reported that a new online game in India called "Angry Brides," available as a free application on Facebook, has attracted more than 270,000 fans. It seeks to highlight the problem of illegal dowry demands for women.
    (AFP, 1/17/12)

2012        Feb 5, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning led his team to a 21-17 victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
    (SFC, 2/6/12, p.B1)

2012        Mar 26, British video games retailer GAME collapsed into administration, placing more than 5,500 jobs at risk, becoming the latest victim of tough economic conditions. GAME's international divisions were operating as normal.
    (AFP, 3/26/12)

2012        Apr 29, Thomas Preston (83), Texas gambler also known as Amarillo Slim, died in Amarillo. His 1972 win in the fledgling World Series of Poker in Las Vegas helped make him an ambassador for the game.
    (Econ, 5/12/12, p.98)(http://tinyurl.com/8xlfd8l)

2012        May 30, In Moscow world chess champion Viswanathan Anand of India retained his title, beating Israeli challenger Boris Gelfand 2.5-1.5 in a rapid tiebreaker round of four games.
    (AP, 5/30/12)

2012        Nov 8, The US Navy said 7 members of SEAL Team 6 have been punished for disclosing classified information to the maker of a video game.
    (SFC, 11/9/12, p.A10)

2012        Nov 18, The Wii U, Nintendo’s newest games console, was released in the US. Release in Europe was set for Nov 30 and in Japan for Dec 8.
    (Econ, 12/1/12, p.73)

2012        Major League Ultimate, the first centrally managed professional league for Frisbee-flinging, began its first season.The Boston Whitecaps won this year’s championship.
    (Econ, 10/5/13, p.68)

2013        Jan 16, Andre Cassagnes, inventor and renowned kite maker, died in France. He was the inventor of the Etch-a-Sketch toy (1959), which he sold to Ohio Art  for $25,000.
    (Econ, 2/16/13, p.90)

2013        Jan 24, Toymaker Mattel Inc. scored a partial victory when a federal appeals court overturned a 2011 jury verdict and $170 million in damages for allegedly stealing trade secrets from the maker of Bratz dolls. The court upheld a judge’s award of $137.2 million to Bratz’s manufacturer, MGA Entertainment, for its defense against Mattel’s trade secrets claim.
    (SFC, 1/25/13, p.D5)

2013        Mar 5, Stealth action game "Dishonored," featuring a masked bodyguard-turned-assassin, was named best video game of the year at an award ceremony in London.
    (Reuters, 3/5/13)

2013        Apr 30, A Las Vegas casino subsidiary launched Ultimate Gaming, the first fully legal poker website in the US.
    (SFC, 5/1/13, p.A8)

2013        May 14, Malaysia-based Genting Group, a major casino operator, accused Phil Ivey (37) of amassing millions of dollars in winnings by cheating at baccarat. Ivey, an American, is one of the world's top professional poker players. The game in question took place on Aug 20-21, 2012, at Crockfords, one of London's oldest and most respected casinos.
    (AP, 5/16/13)

2013        May 18, Russia's Sergey Karjakin won the €100,000 ($130,000) Norway chess championship after drawing against Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria.
    (AP, 5/18/13)

2013        Sep 17, The video game “Grand Theft Auto V," made in Edinburgh, Scotland, by Rockstar North, was released. Take-Two Interactive, the American owner of Rockstar North, expected to take as much as £1 billion in revenues.
    (Econ, 9/21/13, p.60)
2013        Sep 17, A man (23) was attacked in London in the early hours as he made his way home from a midnight launch event for the notoriously violent videogame "Grand Theft Auto V." Three British teenagers, ages 14-17, were later charged over the stabbing and robbery. The victim remained in hospital in a stable condition. On Sep 20 game's publisher Take-Two Interactive Software said that it had raked in more than a billion dollars during the first three days of sales, smashing previous records.
    (AFP, 9/21/13)

2013        Nov 7, The US National Toy Hall of Fame in Rochester, NY, inducted the rubber duck and the game of chess.
    (SFC, 11/8/13, p.A7)

2013        Nov 15, Sony released its PlayStation 4 video game player, one week ahead of Microsoft’s new Xbox One.
    (SFC, 11/15/13, p.C1)

2013        Nov 22, Microsoft crowed that more than a million Xbox One consoles were snapped up within 24 hours in 13 countries after hitting shelves for the first time in the morning.
    (AP, 11/22/13)
2013        Nov 22, In India Magnus Carlsen (22) of Norway defeated Viswanathan Anand of India in the chess world championship, becoming the first Western player since Bobby Fischer to hold the title. The match in Chennai, which began Nov. 9, has been shown live on TV in both Norway and India, with millions more watching online.
    (AP, 11/22/13)

2013        In Japan “Yo-kai," a word meaning supernatural spirits, began as a cartoon series.  It was later adopted for TV and made into a hit video game after which toy maker Banda Namco won merchandise rights.
    (Econ, 2/25/17, p.56)

2014        Jan 6, China temporarily lifted a 14-year-old ban on selling video game consoles, paving the way for Sony Corp, Microsoft Corp and Nintendo Co Ltd to enter the world's third largest video game market in terms of revenue.
    (Reuters, 1/7/14)

2014        Jan 14, A Chicago federal court sentenced H. Ty Warner (69), the billionaire businessman behind Beanie Babies, to two years probation for not paying taxes on $25 million he had hidden.
    (SFC, 1/15/14, p.A4)

2014        Mar 18, The Mega Millions jackpot of $414 million, the third largest in the game’s history, went to two winners of tickets sold in Florida and Maryland.
    (SFC, 3/20/14, p.A6)

2014        Mar 25, King Digital, ticker KING, raised $500 million from the sale of 22.2 million shares. Established in 2002, King's business has soared in the last two years thanks to the spectacular popularity of Candy Crush Saga, which boasts some 97 million players worldwide.
    (AFP, 3/26/14)

2014        Apr 15, South Korean police charged a man for the murder of his 2-year-old son after he confessed to suffocating the child so he could leave the house to go back to playing games at an Internet cafe.
    (Reuters, 4/15/14)

2014        Sep 15, Microsoft announced a $2.5 billion deal to acquire Mojang, the Swedish firm behind the “Minecraft" video game said to have over 100 million players.
    (SFC, 9/16/14, p.A1)

2014        Dec 6, Ralph Baer, video game pioneer, died at his home in Manchester, New Hampshire. He created both the precursor to "Pong" and the electronic memory game "Simon" and had led the team that developed the Magnavox Odyssey, the first home video game console.
    (AP, 12/8/14)

2014        Dec 26, Sony's PlayStation network remained offline on the second day of an outage that began roiling the online world just as eager video game players were unwrapping new consoles on Christmas morning.
    (AP, 12/26/14)

2015        Jun 2, Disney said it will be introducing a new line of toys that combine high-tech wearable gadgets and old-school superhero role-playing to keep kids moving. Disney’s Playmation will hit stores in October and cost $120.
    (SFC, 6/3/15, p.C3)

2015        Jun 28, In Azerbaijan the European Games came to a close. Russia sent its top athletes to the games as a warm-up for next year's Olympics and was rewarded by winning almost four times as many gold medals as its closest rival.
    (AP, 6/28/15)

2015        Jul 11, In Japan Satoru Iwata (55), head of Nintendo Co., died at Kyoto University Hospital after a lengthy illness. He had led the video game company through years of growth with its Pokemon and Super Mario franchises.
    (AP, 7/13/15)

2015        Jul 28, In Germany the 14th annual Maccabi Games, Europe’s largest Jewish sporting event, opened in Berlin.
    (Econ, 8/1/15, p.48)

2015        Oct 15, Fan Hui, a professional with the Chinese Go Association, lost to Google DeepMind’s AlphaGo in the final game of the five game match. The startling performance of AlphaGo wasn’t revealed until a paper detailing the feat was published in the science journal Nature, on January 27, 2016. AlphaGo, developed by British AI research company DeepMind, was acquired by Google in 2014.
    (http://tinyurl.com/gvs8krj)(Econ, 1/30/15, p.72)

2015        Nov 3, Activision Blizzard, a video game company, acquired King Digital Entertainment for $5.9 billion in cash and stock.
    (Econ, 11/7/15, p.61)

2015        Edward Brooke-Hitching authored “Fox Tossing and Other Forgotten and Dangerous sports, Pastimes, and Games.
    (Econ, 11/21/15, p.78)
2015        The game Pie Face by Hasbro was released and became a big hit.
    (SFC, 12/23/17, p.D4)

2016        Jan 12, The Denmark-based Lego Group announced that it would no longer ask what the "thematic purpose" of a project is. Instead, customers who intend to display their creations in public will be asked to make clear that Lego does not support or endorse them.
    (AP, 1/13/16)

2016        Mar 9, In South Korea a Google-developed supercomputer stunned South Korean Go grandmaster Lee Se-Dol by taking the first game of a five-match showdown between man and machine in Seoul.
    (AFP, 3/9/16)

2016        Mar 10, In South Korea human Go champion Lee Sedol said he was left "speechless" after his second straight loss to Google's Go-playing machine in a highly-anticipated human versus machine face-off.
    (AP, 3/10/16)

2016        Mar 12, In South Korea AlphaGo, a Google-developed computer program, won its best-of-five match-up with a South Korean Go grandmaster, taking an unassailable 3-0 lead to score a major victory for a new style of "intuitive" artificial intelligence (AI).
    (AFP, 3/12/16)

2016        Jul 6, Japan’s Nintendo video-gaming firm released Pokemon Go, an app for smart phones, in American, Australia and New Zealand. The Pokemon franchise began as a video game in 1996.
    (Econ, 7/16/16, p.54)

2016        Jul 20, Saudi Arabia's top clerics renewed a religious edict that warns against playing Pokemon — this time as the wildly popular mobile phone application "Pokemon Go". First issued in 2001 when the game was played with cards, the decree says Pokemon violates Islamic prohibitions against gambling uses devious Masonic-like symbols and promotes "forbidden images."
    (AP, 7/20/16)

2016        Oct, Russian blogger Ruslan Sokolovsky was detained for posting a video on his blog showing him playing “Pokemon Go" on his phone in a church on the supposed site of where the last Russian czar and his family were killed in Yekaterinburg. On May 11, 2017, he was convicted of inciting religious hatred and given a suspended sentence.
    (SFC, 5/11/17, p.A2)

2016        Dec 6, Danish toymaker Lego said it is appointing its first foreign CEO and will give its family owners a bigger role in developing the Lego brand under an organizational shake-up that will see incumbent Jorgen Vig Knudstorp step down by the end of the year. Briton Bali Padda, currently chief operations officer, will replace Knudstorp.
    (Reuters, 12/6/16)

2016        Dec 8, Zynga released its “Dawn of Titans" video game as a free download for Apple and Android phones.
    (http://www.dawnoftitans.com/2016/12/08/358/)(SFC, 12/12/16, p.D1)

2016        Dec 9, Venezuela’s fair pricing authority seized almost 4 million toys from toy distributor Kreisel and said it plans to hand them out to poor children this holiday season. Two company executives were detained on suspicion of promoting price speculation.
    (SSFC, 12/11/16, p.A4)

2016        Dec 15, Nintendo of Japan released “Super Mario Run," its latest video game.
    (Econ, 12/24/16, p.69)

2016        Dec, Video streaming firm BAMTech, a technology subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company located in Manhattan, NY, agreed to pay $300 million for the rights to stream tournaments for a game called “League of Legends" until 2023. The game was owned by Tencent, a Chinese Internet giant.
    (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BAMTech)(Econ, 8/19/17, p.56)

2017        Jan 22, Masaya Nakamura (91), the "Father of Pac-Man," died in Japan. He founded Namco, part of Bandai Namco, the Japanese video game company behind the hit creature-gobbling game in 1955. Pac-Man, designed by Namco engineer and video game maker Toru Iwatani, went on sale in 1980, at a time when there were few rival games, such as Space Invaders.
    (AP, 1/30/17)

2017        May 23, In China Google’s AlphaGo computer defeated Ke Jie, China’s national go champion. Censors blocked access to the online broadcast by Google, which organized the game in Wuzhen, a town west of Shanghai, during a forum on artificial intelligence.
    (AP, 5/24/17)

2017        Jul 8, In San Antonio, Texas, Jorge Gonzalez found his son Isaiah (15) hanging from the closet. A propped up cell phone next to him had broadcast the suicide, believed to be tied to an online spectacle known as the Blue Whale Challenge. On July 10 CNN reported that a girl (16) in Atlanta had also taken her life while participating in the challenge.
    (SFC, 7/12/17, p.A11)

2017        Jul 23, In Nevada Scott Blumstein (25) of New Jersey won the series' marquee no-limit Texas Hold 'em main event early today in Las Vegas. He was more than $8.1 million richer after eliminating Pennsylvania's Daniel Ott on the 246th hand of the final table.
    (AP, 7/23/17)

2017        Sep 18, New Jersey-based Toys 'R' Us, the toy retailer struggling with $5 billion in debt and intense online competition, said it has filed for bankruptcy protection ahead of the key holiday shopping season. The company said its stores will remain open for business as usual.
    (AP, 9/19/17)

2017        Sep 19, Game developer Zynga said it is adding 50,000 pop culture words as part of its largest dictionary update for the Scrabble-esque game “Words with Friends."
    (SFC, 9/20/17 p.C6)

2017        Dec 24, A vice president of the World Chess Federation (FIDE) said seven Israeli players have been denied visas to participate in the Dec. 26-30 speed chess championship hosted by Saudi Arabia this week.
    (Reuters, 12/24/17)

2017        Dec 26, Saudi Arabia hosted a world chess tournament for the first time, nearly two years after the country's top cleric issued a religious edict against playing the board game. Players from Israel and Qatar missed the tournament due to regional tensions.
    (AP, 12/26/17)

2017        Dec 28, In Kansas Andrew Finch (28) was killed by a SWAT team in Wichita following the fake 911 call about a shooting and killing at the victim’s address. Police in southern California arrested Tyler Barriss (25) the next day, suspected of making the hoax call that resulted in the fatal shooting. On Nov. 13, 2018, Barriss pleaded guilty to making the hoax call following a dispute between two online gamers over a $1.50 bet in a Call of Duty WWII video game. On March 31, 2019, Barriss was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
    (SSFC, 12/31/17, p.A7)(SFC, 11/14/18, p.A5)(SFC, 3/30/19, p.A7)

2017        The fidget spinner swept the world as a toy that everyone could play with. It was originally developed to help calm children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.  Similar devices had been invented as early as 1993.
    (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fidget_spinner)(Econ, 9/9/17, p.60)
2017        The game Toilet Trouble by Hasbro was released and became a big hit.
    (SFC, 12/23/17, p.D4)
2017        PUBG Corp., a subsidiary of South Korean video game company Bluehole developed and published PlayerUnknowns' Battlegrounds (PUBG), an online multi-player video game. PUBG soon sold publishing rights in China to Tencent. In 2019 the governments of Iraq and Jordan banned the game, but their decisions proved ineffective.
    (Econ, 4/18/20, p.35)(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PlayerUnknown%27s_Battlegrounds)

2018        Jan 9, Authorities in the Paraguayan border town of Ciudad del Este temporarily closed a shop accused of selling transgender dolls. The city attorney Christian said the shop also was closed for failing to pay this year's commercial tax and was selling toys when it's only authorized to sell electronic goods.
    (AP, 1/10/18)

2018        Apr 21, It was reported that Ireland-based Smyths Toys has reached a deal to take over more than 90 Toys R Us stores in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
    (AP, 4/21/18)

2018        Jul 16, Saudi Arabia said it's banning a long list of popular video games after allegations surfaced that two children killed themselves after being encouraged to do so in an online game. A girl (13) and a boy (12) had reportedly killed themselves after playing the so-called "Blue Whale" social media game.
    (AP, 7/16/18)

2018        Aug 14, Indonesia deployed 100,000 police and soldiers to provide security for the Asian Games, the biggest event ever held in its terror attack prone capital Jakarta.
    (AP, 8/14/18)

2018        Aug 18, In Indonesia the 18th Asian Games officially opened in Jakarta.
    (AP, 8/18/18)

2018        Aug 26, In Indonesia a crew comprising South Koreans and North Koreans won the 500-meter dragon boat final at the Asian Games co-host city of Palembang. This was the first gold medal by a combined Koreas team at a major multi-sport event.
    (AP, 8/26/18)

2018        Sep 2, In Indonesia the Asian Games closed in a ceremony emphasizing the country's diversity and the ties linking the 11,000 athletes who competed for 45 nations. The 2-week-long games ended with Indonesia fourth on the medal table behind China (289), Japan (205) and South Korea (177).
    (AP, 9/2/18)(AP, 9/3/18)

2019        Oct 2, The 9th World Championship of "League of Legends," a fantasy game played by teams of five, began and continued to November 10 in Berlin, Madrid and Paris. The video game, owned by Chinese megacorporation Tencent, was watched by some 44 million people.
    (https://tinyurl.com/ybucpzlb)(Econ., 6/27/20, p.10)

2018        Oct 23, The live-betting esports platform Unikrn had its wagering license approved by the Isle of Man, clearing the way for users to legally gamble on competitive video games. Unikrn had previously only been licensed to provide real-money betting on esports in the UK and Australia.
    (AP, 10/23/18)

2018        Dec 1, The Bristol-based disciplinary panel of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association, founded in 1968, handed long bans to two Chinese snooker players for fixing matches in one of the sport's biggest corruption scandals.
    (http://tinyurl.com/ya85vruc)(AP, 12/1/18)

2018        China's Pres. Xi Jinping cracked down on online addiction, blood, butchery, boobs and bums in video games.
    (Econ., 6/13/20, p.56)
2018        Puerto Rico-based LiftFoils began shipping its first battery-powered propeller surfboards. The units enabled users to rise a foot or so above the water's surface.
    (SFC, 10/8/20, p.A11)

2019        Jan 25, It was reported that a board game that makes light of last year's nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy in Britain has gone on sale in Russia. Players of "Our Guys In Salisbury" roll dice to advance across the board from Moscow to Salisbury, the city where Britain says two Russian spies used a chemical weapon to poison Sergei Skripal and his daughter.
    (Reuters, 1/25/19)

2019        Apr 17, Iraq's parliament voted unanimously to ban the popular but brutal online game Player Unknown's Battlegrounds for "inciting violence" in the war-torn country.
    (AFP, 4/17/19)

2019        May 8, China-based Tencent Holdings Ltd shut down its test version of global blockbuster "PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds" in China and shifted users to a similar, more patriotic video game which, unlike PUBG, has regulatory approval to generate revenue.
    (Reuters, 5/08/19)

2019        Jun 12, It was announced that the Immortals Gaming Company has acquired Infinite Esports in what is believed to be the competitive video gaming industry's first $100 million deal.
    (AP, 6/13/19)

2020        Aug, Ryan Cohen, the former boss of Chewy, an online pet food store, began amassing a large stake in GameStop, a brick-and-mortar purveyor of video games. In November he urged the board to invest in e-commerce and soon joined the board. The share value of GameStop rose and became a subject on a Reddit forum that drove the share price even higher.
    (Econ., 1/30/21, p.60)

2019        Sep 25, Mattel, the toymaker behind Barbie, launched a range of gender-neutral dolls which can be styled as either girls or boys, saying children were moving away from traditional stereotypes.
    (Reuters, 9/25/19)

2019        China imposed a cyber curfew barring those under 18 from playing games between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. In 2021 Tencent said it began testing facial recognition technology in April to verify the ages of avid nighttime players and has since used it in 60 of its games.
    (NY Times, 7/8/21)

2020        Feb 14, Matvey Natanzon (51), Russian-born Israeli backgammon player, died. He moved to Buffalo, New York as a teenager and graduated from the New York State University at Buffalo in 1991 with a degree in accounting. In 2007 Natanzon, known as Falafel, was named the number one backgammon player in the world by an unscientifically compiled peer-audited review known as Giants of Backgammon.
    (https://voiceofbackgammon.com/falafel/)(Econ, 3/21/20, p.78)

2020        Apr 7, It was reported that sales of sex toys in Denmark have more than doubled after Danes were told to stay at home to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
    (Reuters, 4/7/20)

2020        Sep 21, Microsoft bought ZeniMax Media, which makes the best-selling "Fallout" and "Elder Scrolls" series of games, for $7.5 billion.
    (Econ., 11/7/20, p.59)

2020        Nov 18, Group video chat app Houseparty said that it has partnered with popular video game "Fortnite" to let friends video chat while playing the game, as people seek various sources of entertainment during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    (Reuters, 11/18/20)

2020        Dec 17, Afghanistan's telecoms regulator banned "Player-Unknown's Battlegrounds" (PUBG), a popular video game, after the Ministry of Haj and Religious Affairs declared it harmful to mental health.
    (Econ., 1/16/21, p.30)

2020        Dec 22, German media reported that Benedikt Schwaderlapp decided to commercialize a coronavirus game, invented by his four daughters, by hiring an artist to design cards, board and box. So far he's sold 2,000 copies, and signed up a toy store as a secondary distributor.
    (Reuters, 12/22/20)

2020        Dec 31, Apple removed 39,000 game apps on its China store, the biggest removal ever in a single day, as it set year-end as deadline for all game publishers to obtain a license.
    (Reuters, 12/31/20)

2021        Jan 20, The EU's executive Commission said it has issued fines to Valve Corp., owner of a US video game platform and five game makers, after they blocked players from buying cheaper copies of the games in other countries in the bloc.
    (AP, 1/20/21)

2021        Jan 27, Shares of GameStop and AMC Entertainment Holdings soared for a fourth day running, forcing hedge funds to retreat from heavy losses and sparking calls for scrutiny of a social media-driven trading frenzy. The share price of GameStop spiked from a few dollars in 2020 to a peak of more than $350.
    (Reuters, 1/27/21)(Econ., 1/30/21, p.60)

2021        Jan 31, It was reported that Melvin Capital, the hedge fund at the center of the GameStop drama, lost 53% in January but received commitments for fresh cash from investors in the last days of the month. The firm, founded in 2014 by Gabe Plotkin, had bet that ailing video game retailer GameStop's stock, which traded at less than $5 five months ago, would fall. A wave of retail investors, comparing notes on social media platform Reddit and using online trading app Robinhood, took the other side of Plotkin's trade to send the stock up 1,625% this month to close at $325 on Jan. 29.
    (AP, 1/31/21)

2021        Feb 9, Poland's video games maker CD Projekt said a cyber attack will slow fixes to its flagship Cyberpunk 2077 game and other development work.
    (Reuters, 2/9/21)

2021        Feb 24, GameStop shares doubled, lifting their year-to-date gain to over 380% and the video game chain's market value to $6.4 billion. That puts GameStop, whose shares are in the iShares Micro-Cap ETF, above the value of some S&P 500 companies.
    (Reuters, 2/25/21)

2021        Mar 3, Zynga Inc said it had acquired San Francisco-based game studio Echtra Games Inc, taking the mobile-game maker a step closer to its goal of developing a portfolio of new titles that users can play across platforms.
    (Reuters, 3/3/21)

2021        Mar 10, Shares of Roblox Corp, a video game platform, rose almost 55% on its stock market debut. Well-known stock picker and exchange-traded fund operator Cathie Wood bought into the company. California-based Roblox was founded in 2004 by David Baszucki and Erik Cassel (d.2013), although its journey began in 1989 when Baszucki and Cassel programmed a 2D simulated physics lab Knowledge Revolution that would later lay the groundwork for the company.
    (Reuters, 3/11/21)

2021        Mar 24, Sweden-based E-sports and gaming group MTG said it has agreed to buy mobile games developer Ninja Kiwi for about 1.6 billion crowns ($186 million) to broaden its gaming portfolio.
    (Reuters, 3/24/21)

2021        Jun 17, A patch of virtual land in the blockchain-based online world Decentraland sold for more than $900,000, in a record purchase for the platform. The purchase was made using MANA, Decentraland's own cryptocurrency. The land cost 1,295,000 MANA, which was worth $913,228.2 at the time of sale. Decentraland is a user-owned, Ethereum-based virtual world where you can play, explore, and interact with games and activities.
    (https://tinyurl.com/2z4y4chj)(Reuters, 6/18/21)

2021        Jul 3, Turkish national Mehmet Aydin (30), on the run after allegedly embezzling money from thousands of people in a Ponzi scheme, was extradited from Brazil to Turkey and detained. Aydin is thought to have collected the equivalent of more than $131 million in Turkish lira from over 130,000 people through an online scheme called Ciftlik, or Farm Bank, an online game inspired by FarmVille.
    (AP, 7/4/21)

2021        Jul 14, Danish toymaker Lego said it had asked Provo-based Culper Precision, a Utah-based gun company, to stop producing a product that makes a pistol look like it is covered with the famous multi-colored building brick. Lego they have agreed to remove the product from their website and not make or sell anything like this in the future.
    (AP, 7/14/21)

2021        Aug 10, Maki Kaji (69), known as the "Godfather of Sudoku," died. Kaji took hints from an existing number puzzle to create what he later named "sudoku" - a contraction of the Japanese for "every number must be single." He first “fell in love" with a game called Number Place in 1984. He renamed it Sudoku. The number puzzle is played daily by millions around the world.
    (Reuters, 8/16/21)(NY Times, 8/17/21)

2021        Aug 30, China published new rules forbidding under-18s from playing video games for more than three hours a week, a stringent social intervention that it said was needed to pull the plug on a growing addiction to what it once described as "spiritual opium".
    (Reuters, 8/30/21)

2021        Sep 18, It was reported that Chinese regulators have set up a platform that allows the public to report on gaming companies they believe are violating restrictions on online games times for children.
    (SFC, 9/18/21, p.C2)

2021        Oct 10, Dream11, one of India's most popular gaming apps, said it has suspended operations in the southern state of Karnataka after a complaint was registered against its founders claiming it was in violation of a new state gambling law.
    (Reuters, 10/10/21)

2021        Oct 21, Tom Morey, inventor of the surfing Boogie Board (1971), died in Laguna Hills, Ca.

2021        Nov, Radio Free Asia reported that copies of Squid Game had been smuggled into North Korea on USB drives and SD cards. A man who is said to have smuggled in the show was later sentenced to death by a firing squad.
    (Kotaku, 11/24/21)

2021        Dec 10, Cybersecurity firm Cloudstrike said a software vulnerability in the online game Minecraft is rapidly emerging as a major threat to internet-connected devices arund the world. New Zealand's computer emergency response team was among the first to report the flaw a day earlier. The flaw in open-source Apache software was discovered on Nov. 24 by the Chinese tech giant Alibaba.
    (SFC, 12/11/21, p.A5)

2021        Dec 16, Masayuki Uemura (78), Japanese engineer who developed the Nintendo Entertainment system (1983), died in j in Japan.
    (SSFC, 12/19/21, p.F8)

2021        Dec 22, US auto safety regulators said they have opened a formal safety investigation into 580,000 Tesla vehicles sold since 2017 over the automaker's decision to allow games to be played on the front center touchscreen.
    (Reuters, 12/22/21)

2021        Dec 23, A US federal safety regulator said Tesla has agreed to modify software in its cars to prevent drivers and passengers from playing video games on the dashboard screens while vehicle are in motion.
    (NY Times, 12/23/21)

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