For several years, I’ve had a brilliant idea for a word-game bouncing around in my head. Given my general laissez-faire attitude in my retirement years, however, I’ve done nothing about it.
And that’s a shame, because the more I think about it, the more convinced I am it could be a sure-fire hit. Like when the original Trivial Pursuit first burst upon the scene, or Scrabble, or Hangman, or Words with Friends, to name a few.
The game—in the multi-platform age we live in—can be marketed as a traditional board-game, or as a digital game adapted to computers and laptops. It can feature competitive matches with others, or a self-play mode for those uncomfortable with universal play. It can have different levels of skill to accommodate players with varying levels of language fluency. It can have focused versions for different age-groups. It can be issued in as many languages as the global market will bear.
But wait, there’s more! So successful could it be that a television show might eventually be based upon it, like Jeopardy, for instance. Featuring both celebrity and everyday contestants, all vying to claim supremacy, the TV version could reinvigorate the public’s interest in language and history, spurring us on, perhaps, to a new golden age of literacy.
The only reason I’m revealing my idea here is that I remain unlikely to pursue it by myself. Too much work for one my age.
Actually, there is a second reason: I’d love to entice someone to follow through on the project—partnering with me, of course, with copyright reserved to me; financing the start-up costs; doing the bulk of the work; but with all profits shared equally.
Sounds beguiling, don’t you think?
The game, as I envisage it, will be called Who Said That? Playing in turn, each player will draw a card (if playing the board-game version), or click on a tab (in the digital version), to reveal an excerpt of a famous quotation; for example:
I don’t want to belong to any club…
If the player can successfully complete the expression, (s)he will receive the number of points ascribed to the difficulty of the quotation. And, as a bonus, if the player can identify the person who first uttered the expression, (s)he will earn an additional two points, and may take a second turn before the next player plays. If a particular quotation has no attributed author, Anonymous becomes an acceptable answer.
Because some quotations have been reported slightly differently, or translated from other languages, some latitude in the exactness of the answers may be allowed by players; the objective is to most accurately complete the expression.
The two answers in the aforementioned example are:
I don’t want to belong to any club that would have me as a member; the speaker was Groucho Marx, an American actor, comedian, and television star.
Pretty simple concept, I think, but not so easy to navigate successfully.
Now, before deciding whether or not you wish to become an investor in this can’t-miss undertaking, you might want to try the game yourself. Here are six questions of varying levels of difficulty, but all requiring high-school competency in language and history. Answering all of them correctly, and identifying the speakers, will earn you thirty points.
- Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day… 1 point
- Even if you’re on the right track… 3 points
- Never interrupt your enemy… 4 points
- If you are going through hell… 3 points
- Sometimes the questions are complicated… 2 points
And my favourite,
- The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas… 5 points
Try to answer these questions before checking the answers below.
* * * * * * *
How many quotations could you accurately complete? How many of the speakers could you identify? And how many points were you able to earn? Now, check the answers to find out:
- …teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. Anonymous
- …you’ll get run over if you just sit there. Will Rogers
- …when he is making a mistake. Napoleon
- …keep going. Churchill
- …and the answers are simple. Dr. Seuss
- …in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function. F. Scott Fitzgerald
I could lie and claim I earned thirty points, but that would be unfair; after all, I framed the questions. In truth, I might have earned seventeen points, had I been playing as you were.
If any of us were playing online, and after we had the correct answers revealed, we could quickly search the internet for more information on the speakers. This game could be such a marvellous learning tool, as well as entertaining for all ages. A sure-fire winner!
So, in conclusion, let me address the financing and partnership aspects of the project. In order to avoid my having to peruse long lists of prospective investors, it would be best (assuming you are interested) to send along a comprehensive financial disclosure statement to me at your earliest convenience. Rest assured, it will be held in the strictest confidence….or, perhaps I should say privacy.
You know, I’m sure, that this is not a confidence game!