Investor’s Business Daily

Having read ‘About Jenga’, Victor Reklaitis interviewed me a few weeks ago when I was in Los Angeles for a book signing event at Chevaliers’ Books, hosted by Bob Peirce, Chairman of BritWeek.

I thoroughly enjoyed Victor’s always friendly, but challenging interview. And I really appreciate the resultant IBD article ‘Leslie Scott Raised Her Game’, primarily because Victor went to the trouble of interviewing and quoting two key figures in the story of Jenga’s success; Alan Hassenfeld of Hasbro, and Hal Ross, the toy expert’s expert.

Jenga creator talks strategy


Q. Some players use the “tap method” to move the blocks out of place while players like the “slow slide and pull” trick. Which do you suggest?

A. I use both techniques, depending on the circumstances. I also resort to the ‘squeeze and shift’ move when things get desperate. If the central block has been removed from a layer, it is possible to squeeze the remaining two outer blocks together, thus shifting the tower so that the layers above are now balancing on just one of the blocks, leaving one block free to remove. (Hard to explain, easier to demonstrate)

Extract from an email Q & A exchange with Chris Illuminati  (I never did get around to asking him if this is his real name or just a nom de keyboard?) about Jenga strategy, which gave rise to an article in phillyburbs.com (click for full article, and more Jenga tips)

Chapter Four: ‘Real Tennis and Flappy Ducks’

‘But of the myriad games I have played over the years, Real Tennis is undoubtedly the one to have exercised the greatest influence over my life. I met my husband through Real Tennis, and in many respects, it was because of the game of Real Tennis that I became a professional designer of games.’ About Jenga: The Remarkable Business of Creating a Game that Became a Household Name.’