“The other night at the bar” (I know, I know…) I learned of a “literary game” I had never heard of before. A card game called “The Game of Authors.” Per my policy, I was at a bar that includes the Buzztime Trivia network (try it some time!) among its offerings (I’m a trivia addict, catching Jeopardy! whenever I can, etc., etc.) and – of course! – I was playing. Another ’regular’ customer and trivia player was sitting to my left, and at one point in the game he or I or both of us confused a literary work’s authorship between Washington Irving and Nathaniel Hawthorne. Eventually settling on the right answer, he explained how he knew it.
“It was from this card game I had as a kid,” he said. “The cards had pictures of authors on them with four or five cards per author, each with a different title of a work of his on the face.” How had I never heard of this game? How had my parents, who I thought had gotten us every educational game known to man, overlooked it? When I asked how it was played, he surprised me again and said, “It was kind of like ‘Go Fish.’” Of course I instantly looked it up on my smart phone and found many references to it. Now my goal is to purchase a set for my “library.”
Have you ever seen or heard of this game? (What a ‘sneaky’ way to help children learn the names of authors and their works!) What other literary or educational games were you playing in your youth (or adulthood!)? A couple others I can remember was a gas station chain (Shell, I think) giving away free (with a fill-up, I presume) aluminum coins featuring all the U.S. Presidents (one on each coin, of course). I loved riffing my fingers through them as a kid, and can still hear the ‘clinking’ sound they made as I’m typing this… I also remember coke or pepsi or “Tab” having collectible bottle-caps for awhile, each featuring a famous historical figure. I can recall peeling off a thin plastic film underneath the cap that uncovered the ‘portrait.’ The only one I can remember today, for some reason is “Amelia Earhart!” How about you, what were some of the educational games you enjoyed?
(below: I found some pictures of the Shell coins online; it was called the “Shell’s Mr. President Coins” game – does anyone else remember these? For more info on the Shell’s Mr. President Coins game, see the link http://billjamie.com/Shell/Shell-Coin-Game/Mr-President-Coin-Game/Mr-President-Coin-Game.html which goes into great and fascinating detail.)