back to article What a card: Brit boffin Alan Turing stars in Monopoly tribute set

He may not have made it onto the £10 banknote, but the face of WWII code-breaking hero Alan Turing now adorns the back of the silly money that's boxed into a new custom Monopoly set. The board, cards and pieces in the "Alan Turing edition" of Monopoly have been tweaked to tell the story of Turing's life, with the Utilities …

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Go to Jail

Or accept probation and chemical castration.

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Re: Go to Jail

Slightly sick, but yes. That's more accurate.

I'm torn here. Recognition of Turing (FINALLY!) is welcome, but I'm not sure that rebranding Monopoly so he can join the ranks of Manchester United and just about every town, football club and large group (e.g. National Trust) in the UK is really a sensible next step.

I'd probably buy a code-breaking board game of some description from Bletchley Park. Monopoly with a vague Turing-link? Not so sure. And I pride myself as a collector of odd/unusual board games, especially those with mathematically "nice" play styles, am a computer nerd, and come from an educational background that I tried my hardest to focus on maths and cryptography (and, thus, Turing is a bit of an idol).

If it raises money, okay. But there's a point where we start producing commercial tat and losing the message.

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Re: Go to Jail

The recognition is rightly deserved, and Monopoly is very apt.

Alan had a theory to beat anyone monopoly, apparently the maths didn't work.

See the story here - http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/sep/10/alan-turing-monopoly-board-google?newsfeed=true

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TRT
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Re: Go to Jail

A certain well known IT company (who some would say would see Parker Bros in court if they rounded the corners of the playing board!) was for years rumoured to have based its logo on Turning's end move. OK, it's an urban myth, but a very pervasive one and the one that many years ago made me hunt out the chap's contribution to science. I'd prefer to play the game variation that's been included.

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Re: Go to Jail

The original designer of the "litigious fruit based shiny toy maker" 's logo said he did the bite out of it because the board thought it looked like a cherry when he first showed them. He knew nothing of Turing and the logo was created in 1976 - 7 years before Hodge's biography of Turing mentioning the suicide was published.

Similarly the rainbow colours on the first version were to advertise the Apple's colour display - it was 2 years before the design of the gay-pride rainbow flag.

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Go

To choose to play monopoly...

...is to choose to go to bed in a bad mood (to quote an Indian friend of mine who we introduced to board games)

Even if it is a cool edition

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Re: To choose to play monopoly...

True, but if you want to go to bed in a murderous, paranoid mood, play Diplomacy. Actually, that's not quite accurate. A game of Diplomacy takes so long that you probably won't go to bed at all.

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Re: To choose to play monopoly...

Diplomacy, the game that involves winning while losing friends in real life after they found out you weren't going to invade Germany and instead took Austria/Hungary.

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Other board games are available...!

Unfortunately if you say "Board Games" to most people they'll think of Monopoly, Cluedo and... well, that's pretty much it.

Try Carcassonne, The Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, Alhambra or Stone Age to mention but a few and you'll find that family board games can actually be enjoyable instead of being tedious and/ or ending in an argument! :-)

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Re: Other board games are available...!

Interesting. I've never heard of Carcassonne.

Is it a board game that simulates the extermination of Cathar heretics? As far as I know that's the most notable thing to have taken place at Carcassonne.

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Re: Other board games are available...!

I'm not sure if you're trying to be funny, but anyway...

Carcassonne is a tile and meeple (small figurines) placement game where you're trying to build walled cities (as the original city) and roads and then place your people to control them. There is a range of expansions, but you don't need any of these to play the basic game which is family friendly (it's from ages 8 upwards, but it's not a "kids game" by any means).

You can pick up a new copy for around £15 and it's well worth a look as a good "gateway game" to get people into the idea that there's more to gaming than "roll the dice and move a counter"!

See http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/822/carcassonne for some more details.

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Re: Other board games are available...!

We've had a lot of fun with Ticket To Ride, Carcassonne, Puerto Rico and Agricola. Also Ravensburger has a couple of clue/deduction games called Mister X and Scotland Yard.

We've introduced many of pre-teens and teens in our extended family to board games through these. Gets them off the phone for a bit. :)

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Let's do better

I'm sure a few of us old-timer Reg readers can come up with something actually based on the Enigma machine itself - shall we see if we can give it a try? The obvious template would be something like Mastermind (the board game, not the quiz show) where you try to refine your guess of the settings of the code wheels by receiving incomplete feedback about how close you were with the previous guess.

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Re: Let's do better

Hell, even Cluedo would have been closer - collect pieces of messages that logically can only have X amount of causes and narrow them down. Super Cluedo Challenge's style of gameplay would have been ideally suited with it's coded cards, multiple gameplay elements, and with a "murderer" -> "code-breaker" and "clues" -> "pieces of the code" type revamp (and is still an interesting game to play years after they stopped making the damn thing despite it being the best ever variation of that particular game). Couple that with your "Enigma-esque" idea and you have to do a bit of maths but I'm sure you could make a decent game out of "breaking the code".

Monopoly doesn't seem to suit. At all.

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Mushroom

Well I ordered one!

And the most fiendish board game available is 'The War on Terror' ...

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Anti-malware and safe browsing

Bletchley Park might do well to produce a compendium of Open Source anti-malware programs. Together with easy-to-follow instructions on how to make an internet connection 'child friendly' this could achieve far more than the misplaced ministrations of do-gooders and politicians.

Whether Paypal donations on the internet would generate much revenue, I don't know. But sales of a CD for a fiver or two could net a fair amount. Sensibly produced safe browsing suggestions would be more effective and bring far more benefit to children than attempts to censor the internet.

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Re: Anti-malware and safe browsing

The military birthplace of computing by pure mathematical analysis of world-vital life-saving work, releasing a collection of programs to (poorly) deal with the bad programming, atrocious security, stupid users ("I'll just click OK") that infest modern programming and computing by scanning for signatures of known-bad files (unreliable and inaccurate and constantly requiring update)?

Or to produce software to do the same for websites (face it, that's all "child nanny" software is - antivirus with a different target and platform, and still playing a never-ending, unwinnable game)?

God, I think Turing would turn in his grave. I know I would. Hell, I'd dig a grave just to turn in it if necessary.

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Alan Turing is no longer short of recognition he rightly deserves but the same cannot be said of his co-workers which is a great shame. My grandad feels particularly strongly about it as he worked with Tommy Flowers (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tommy_Flowers ) at the post office after the war and remembers him as a supremely clever man. He did not find it surprising when he found out about Flowers war involvement many years later.

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Tommy Flowers

Mr Flowers IS getting recognition. I've seen at least two recent TV documentaries that referenced Bletchley Park and Colossus and went into great detail about Mr Flower's contribution and how he was an unsung hero. Bletchley Park has several displays dedicated to the man and the wikipedia entry for Colossus details his contribution. Many books on the subject also mention his work. I'll admit it's only recently that he's getting the praise and documentation he deserves but better late then never.

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Re: Tommy Flowers

I have seen one recent TV documentary about him so you're one up on me. I realise he is starting to receive some attention by my point is that an "Alan Turing Edition" of anything continues to neglect the memory of many other great people to whom we owe a great debt. Tommy Flowers is just one of these people.

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So...

Who will read the Cryptonomicon instead of playing board games?

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