The Mathematical Intelligencer

, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 71–77 | Cite as

Mathematical Treasures from Sid Sackson

  • Jim HenleEmail author
For Our Mathematical Pleasure Jim Henle, Editor

Games mean many things to many people; to me they are an art form of great potential beauty.

—Sid Sackson, Beyond Tic Tac Toe

Sid Sackson (1920–2002) was a professional game inventor. He was a seminal figure in twentieth-century game design, with pioneering board games, card games, party games, paper-and-pencil games, solitaire games, and word games. In this column I will argue:
  1. 1.

    That (many) games are mathematical structures.

  2. 2.

    That games and mathematics share many of their most important aesthetics.

  3. 3.

    That Sid Sackson created games that pose interesting mathematical problems.

But before I do, let me tell you a little about Sid. Sid Sackson was inventing games as a child. He designed games all his life, though he had a day job as an engineer into his fifties.

Acquire was probably his most successful game. It’s a business game with hotels, stocks, and mergers, with geometric elements borrowed from war games. Acquire launched 3M’s collection of bookshelf games.

Many of...

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Northampton, MAUSA

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