Photo Credit: Gettty Images
Whether you fought with your siblings over who was going to be the racecar in Monopoly, or were heartbroken when you were sent aaaaaall the way back in Chutes and Ladders, everyone has a favorite board game, and a special set of memories to go with it. But what games are the most loved by Americans? Here’s a quick roundup.
When you ask what people think America’s most loved game is, one name comes up again and again: Monopoly. It’s no wonder why—with more than 200 million games having been sold around the globe, Hasbro says that Monopoly is the best-selling game in the world. Launched in 1935 by Parker Bros., it will celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2010
What makes Monopoly a favorite? “It speaks to the American experience: entrepreneurial, dreams of get rich quick, lots of money floating around, Atlantic City and the luck of the dice, and everyone's got their own house rule for what to do when you land on Free Parking,” says Michael Powers, a game lover who owns more than 100 board games.
Monopoly isn’t just a favorite game though; it’s also one that has become part of a whole competitive playing circuit, which sparked a young filmmaker to create a documentary about it called Under the Boardwalk. “I have filmed interviews with fans, collectors, celebrities, and people who compete in national and global Monopoly tournaments from all over the world,” said filmmaker Kevin Tostado. “It's amazing the amount of passion that these folks, myself included, have for the game.”
Racking Up the Word Scores
Another American favorite is Scrabble, the famous word game developed during the Great Depression. Scrabble was first sold in the mid-20th century, and believe it or not, it took a few years to take off.
Today, people love the game because it’s different each time it’s played. “I am a word game lover, and I find this game to be both continuously challenging and never monotonous. The possibilities are endless. It's all a matter of exercising your mind,” says Scrabble fanatic Odessa Petitt of Illinois.
2009 Trend: Classic Games
These games aren’t just considered popular oldies, however. Monopoly and Scrabble have maintained their staying power thanks to new versions of both games. In fact, variations of Monopoly and Scrabble are among this year’s best selling games, according to Amazon.com.
“We’ve noticed one standout trend this season, which is the resurgence in popularity of classic games,” says Anya Waring, a spokesperson for Amazon.com. “Many of the popular games even have a bit of a twist, such as the bestselling Scrabble Slam Cards and Monopoly City Edition. We’re finding that many people are returning to spending more time playing multiple player activities and are purchasing these games as gifts this season.”