Milton Bradley today announced that the company sold ten million copies of its post-modern version of The Game during the fourth quarter of 2006. As a result of dwindling sales in its once popular The Game, the company in 1998 introduced a post-modern version with new rules. Despite weak acceptance by the public initially, Milton Bradley persisted in promoting The Game in the belief that its relevance would eventually catch on. Sales have now exceeded one billion dollars.
The original version of The Game, a strategy game involving cards and a set of tiles with letters and symbols, was straightforward, logical and rational. Everything meant what it was. The letter A was a letter A and the symbol for water was water. The rules were simple and clear, easily grasped and easy to follow for players age eight to adult.
The postmodern version of The Game is nuanced and ambiguous. The letters and symbols can each have numerous meanings, depending on the order in which they are played as well as context. Combinations of tiles that resulted in one person winning in the earlier version might result in two others winning in the new version. Even when tiles are played in identical formations in two games in a row, the outcomes can be different due to subtle complexities in the rules because tallies often end up meaning the opposite of what they appear.
"To casual observers the rules appear to be nonsense," said Milton Bradley spokesperson Aaron Bennett. "Whereas the earlier Game was designed for children, this new version is clearly for older children and young adults, our target audience. Sales of The Game to older demographics have not been particularly brisk."
It is rumored that Parker Brothers is now working on a post-modern version of Monopoly. Avalon Hill is close to introducing a post-modern version of its classic strategy war game Stratego.