Postmodern Version of Milton Bradley’s The Game Now Popular On Today’s Campuses

“If you’re going to play, play to win.” — Wallace Arthur Tweed

Ed Newman
3 min readMay 10, 2022


Photo by Christopher Paul High on Unsplash

One of my favorite games for a time when young was The Game of Life. Milton Bradley created and sold an early version of the famous board game in 1860 just before the onset of the Civil War. When introduced it was originally The Checkered Game of Life. I half wonder if it had been named that to encourage Checkers players to give it a try, or whether it was an early attempt at realism in a fallen world.

A modern version of the game, the one we played as kids, was introduced in 1960. People married, had children and careers, drove around in cars and all the rest. In 1984 Milton Bradley was taken over by Hasbro, who also absorbed Parker Brothers. As games have evolved so has our culture.

The postmodern version of Milton Bradley’s Game of Life is now simply called The Game and it has become the most popular game on campuses from coast to coast. Christmas sales in 2014 exceeded ten million copies.

The game had been updated 1998 as a result of dwindling sales in the once popular Game of Life, a newer version came with a whole new approach and a new set of rules more in keeping with the times. Despite moderately weak acceptance by the public initially, Hasbro persisted in promoting The Game in the belief that it would eventually catch on. It wasn’t until the company gave it a post-modern spin in 2005 that sales began to take off. Sales have now exceeded one billion dollars.

The original 1998 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 appeared to mean. 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.

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…



Ed Newman

An avid reader who writes about arts, culture, literature & other life obsessions. @ennyman3 Look for my books on Amazon