Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Game Makers: The Story of Parker Brothers, from Tiddledy Winks to Trivial Pursuit Hardcover – November 14, 2003
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
"an intriguing read." -- USA Today, January 12th, 2004
Top Customer Reviews
One thing that "bothers" me about Orbanes' book is that the author is not always as elaborate as he could be. For example, he could have been more explicit on how Parker's Banking game was actually played, rather than just a basic outline of the game. Or the history of the Mah-Jongg game could have been more detailed. Also, an early example of the clear and concise wording of game rules that George Parker was famous for would have been interesting. None of these shortcomings seriously compromise the quality of the book, but it left me somewhat hungry for more material.
Much to my amusement, from the moment I passed the first few pages of Philip Orbanes' Parker story I have been housing the notion of making games myself. I can only imagine the satisfaction of creating intelligent and fun games. I find the concept of take a set of concise, simple rules and turning them into challenging and lasting game quite intriguing. Parker certainly mastered this principle in the past with games such as Risk or Monopoly, to name two of the most prominent.
On the much brighter side, Orbanes' passion and connections to the company have afforded him dilligence and sources no other author could have attained. The book is well documented with accounts from George Parker's own private papers as well as interviews with lifelong employees from the upper and lower reaches of the organization.
Being a game fan, I can't be completely objective about the historical quality of the book. Orbanes injects as much historical context as he can and documents these references as well. Personally, I couldn't put the book down and found every chapter fascinating.
The Parker Bros. started their company in the era when small businesses could set up shop in the US, with a few good ideas. Starting as a family firm, it grew on instinct and intuition, based in the founder's "12 principles" that the author reveres: see your goal, make winning moves towards it, play by (and use) the rules, be patient, etc. (THese are fine for a company that faces little global competition, when the play mattered more than the marketing, not to forget the power of the retailers, like Wal-Mart, who both control shelf space and prices.) The author continues to go back to these principles as a reference point, kind of like it expressed the soul of the company. Parker Bros. was based in Salem, MA, a firm that engendered great loyalty in a family-like atmosphere. People expected to work there their whole lives, get help and leeway when they needed it, and keep their personal work habits.
There were some differences about the company in the early days. While its foundation rested in the founder's love of games and his own inventiveness, it paid attention to markets outside the US; in this way, it found many games invented in England, including tiddeley winks and ping pong. As such the company grew in a simpler capitalism, but shrewdly and competently.
Once the next generation took over, in a somewhat joyless son-in-law, the company needed to be professionalized and "scientifically managed" via modernization of its accounting, production, etc. This meant that much of the old culture was swept away, people were fired in the depression era, which enabled the son-in-law to impose his will. It was Monopoly that allowed the company to survive.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent play by play explanation of what happened to Parker Brothers. Learned a lot how to manage a business.Published 12 months ago by Sigma
A must for any serious game collector; well written, fascinating history of one of the game industry's earliest game maker / inventors.Published on May 20, 2013 by Joe Seymour
For the information presented, it is good, but so much more should have been included about the earliest of the board games.Published on May 6, 2013 by Douglas P Phillips
This was a true history of one of the most well-known game production companies. I have only begun to delve into the lives of the Parker Brothers, but so far it has been a very... Read morePublished on March 11, 2012 by CAROLYN J. BORCHARDT
The first half of this book a fascinating adventure about the men who started the company and made millions (or billions) of people happy with their products. Read morePublished on October 4, 2011 by Daniel Limbach
This book covers the history of the Parker Brothers Company from its founding by George Parker in the 1880s to its final absorption by the Hasbro conglomerate in 1991. Read morePublished on November 17, 2010 by Efrem Sepulveda
This is a perfect companion to Orbanes' other two books about the Monopoly game. If you have an interest in the history of Monopoly, this is good to have. Read morePublished on February 15, 2010 by Dr. Seuss