Anagram, first published by Oxford Games Ltd in 1991 is back on the market again after a hiatus of a year or so.
Based on the Victorian game of Word Making, Word Taking, Anagram is a superb word game. The word game enthusiast’s word game – without a doubt. Fast and furious, it’s been likened to Scrabble on speed. Not for the timid or fainthearted wordsmith!
Atomic Jenga could turn domestic refrigerators green
For some materials, magnetism is like an atomic version of Jenga. Remove a few atoms from one place and their magnetic properties remain standing, but pull out others and these properties collapse. The discovery not only changes our understanding of magnetism, it could also speed the development of eco-friendly magnetic refrigeration.
The New Scientist 11th August 2010
Have just come across this 4 minute ‘documentary’ about Charles ‘biscuit’ Sinclaire, ranked number 4 Competitive Jenga player in the upper midwestern state.
The film’s blurb declares that ‘The world of Competitive Jenga is full treachery and deceit… or it could just be that ‘biscuit’ its rising ‘star’ is.’
A must see for all Jenga players every where!
……so says Karl Pilkington of a collection of Egyptian pyramids in ‘An Idiot Abroad’ (Sky 1), which Ricky Gervais professes ‘Is the funniest documentry I’ve ever seen.’
Since publishing the book ‘About Jenga’, I’ve come across a myriad new examples of how Jenga, the word I borrowed from Swahili to name my game, has been adopted by the English language.
For example, I was fascinated to discover that Jenga, itself a word so new to the English language that it doesn’t appear in the Oxford English Dictionary (as yet?), is being used to …..
….Enhance Web Page Readability for Non-native English Readers
‘Readers face many obstacles on today’s Web, including distracting content competing for the user’s attention and other factors interfering with comfortable reading. On today’s primarily English-language Web, non-native readers encounter even more problems, even if they have some fluency in English. In this paper, we focus on the presentation of content and propose a new transformation method, the Jenga Format [so called because it inserts spaces between sentences, which create gaps that are visually reminiscent of the interlocking blocks of a Jenga game in play], to enhance web page readability. To evaluate the Jenga Format, we conducted a user study on 30 Asian users with moderate English fluency and the results indicated that the proposed transformation method improved reading comprehension without negatively affecting reading speed. We also describe Froggy, a Firefox extension which implements the Jenga format.’ Chen-Hsiang Yu, Robert C. Miller
Though Jenga was the first ( and the most commercially successful) of the forty or so games I have produced over the years, and of course remains a firm favourite of mine, Anagram & Ex Libris are two others that I never tire of playing. Sara Finch and I collaborated on both, and both games were published by Oxford Games Ltd in 1991.
Oxford Games manufactured and sold the games until early 1999, when Lagoon Games acquired the license to publish the complete Oxford Games Collection.
Now, almost twenty years since Sara and I first devised and published the games, Oxford Games Ltd will be reprinting and marketing EX LIBRIS – the games of first lines and last words, and ANAGRAM –the ingenious games of juggling words.
Researching, writing and publishing my first book, About Jenga, has opened both new and old doors. Some so old and so long unused that I had assumed their locks & hinges rusted tight and rendered useless.
So it has been with considerable surprise, and great pleasure, that About Jenga seems to have prised open so many creaky old doors into my past.
For example; as a result of coming across the book, John Durham of the Camphill Village Trust has made contact, and will be coming to visit me later this month. In 1982, then living and working in Camphill’s Botton Village, John was instrumental in manufacturing the first ever sets of Jenga. John and I had continued to bump into each other for many years at gift fairs, (he with Camphill’s range of wooden toys and I with Oxford Games Ltd) long after Hasbro had acquired the license to publish Jenga. But since Lagoon Games took over the Oxford Games Collection in ’99, I had not been to a gift fair in the UK until this year. And, in the lazy way we all allow these things happen, I had lost contact with John.
I’m thrilled that he has made the effort to push open that old door.
And I’m delighted, too, that as a result of About Jenga, I have reconnected with other old friends, Peter & Tessa Sulston. As I mention in the book, Peter, then working for Oxfam, introduced me to Camphill.
Now running their own art college in Cornwall, the Callington School of Art , I hope to drop in on the Sulstons later this year on my way down to visit my daughter, now at art college in Falmouth.