In 1970 Peter and I created and produced a game called Bugs and Looops. Since I was going to stay home with our first-born, we decided I needed something to entertain me other than diapers. Peter had invented educational games that others had produced, but we were going to do this one ourselves. In our basement.
Many of the details of that adventure now escape me, although we have a notebook filled with publicity, including an article in The Boston Globe entitled “The Toy Too Late for Christmas.” In any event, we put together a wonderful game, elegantly produced, but with no marketing plan. Needless to say, we did not recoup our investment.
Imagine our surprise when forty-three years later, we get an email from an engineer in Raleigh, N.C. who had bought a copy of Bugs and Looops in a thrift store, loved it, played it with his engineer friends and wanted to know more about it. Thanks to the Internet, he found some of the newspaper articles that were written about the game and he found us. He emailed to ask if he if he could call us to learn more.
We agreed and recently we talked with him at length. He loves the game (which tries to teach how computers can do the unexpected). He doesn’t plan to reproduce it or realize any personal gain from our invention. He was just curious.
I found the notebook containing all the copies of our publicity in the back of a closet. Back then, we sold the game in some game stores and by mail order for $6.00 plus 50 cents postage and handling.
We have moved twice since that enterprise. We used the unsold games’ score pads for our grocery lists for years; we gave thousands of the game’s elegant cubes to schools or anyone who would take them off our hands. I’ve scoured our house, but can’t find a single copy of the actual game. But there is a guy in Raleigh, North Carolina who has one.
It cost him 75 cents.