From time to time, the Opinionated Gamers are happy to host writing from some noted gamers. Chris Kovac is a good friend of mine, despite his Canadian-ness ;), who asked to contribute a piece on Sid Sackson. This is a timely request given Joe Huber’s recent article on Acquire.
1963 Game Diary – Sid Sackson
An Overview by Chris Kovac
The following is an overview of a bit of gaming history, namely the 1963 Game Diary of the game designer Sid Sackson (1920-2002). Sid Sackson was a major North American game designer of the 1960’s – 1980’s who created such games as Acquire, Can’t Stop and Focus/Domination among others.
First some background on how I got a look at this game diary at the Gathering of Friends gaming convention Dan Bloom managed to organize a small behind the scenes tour of the Strong National Museum of Play. The Strong museum is located in Rochester New York and its mandate is collect and preserve toys and games as well as related material by American designers from colonial times to the present day. This includes collecting board and video games. Nicolas Ricketts one of the curators at the museum was nice enough to give us a behind the scenes tour showing us the storage rooms containing the board games of the collection including many of Sid Sackson prototypes. As part of the tour we got a chance to visit the research library at the museum where much of Sid Sacksons papers now reside including the game diaries. Julie Rossi one of the archivist at the library showed us a selection of the Sid Sackson papers including the diaries (from 1963 to mid 1990’s) and correspondence files. She was kind enough to forward to those that were interested the only diary which has been digitized (1963) and the correspondence files of Sid Sackson relating to the 3M company which published Acquire among other games. Now onto the overview of the game diary.