The original Game of Life was incredibly dark

Published by Jan Heaney on

The original Game of Life was incredibly dark

Ah, the Game of Life. It’s about as offensive as a bowl of Jello. But the original one from a hundred years
earlier? It had squares like…this. The first Game of Life wasn’t just a game. It was a form of moral instruction. And it says something about how society thinks
life should be lived then and now. In a way, the Game of Life started when this
chin disappeared. Milton Bradley was a young lithographer — basically
a printer — in Massachusetts when he made a thousand prints of this man running
for president in 1860. When Abraham Lincoln grew a beard, those prints
were worthless. So Bradley had to pivot. He took his printing skills and let them loose
on a young medium: board games. The Checkered Game of Life was his first game
— and it became a hit. Players started at infancy. They spun a teetotum — this thing — to
determine options for their move. You had control to choose your
move once you spun. The goal was to hit 100 points, through 5-point milestones like college, and Congress, or big ones, like 50 points for Old Age. The game’s patent shows that Milton
Bradley’s Life was more than just a social game. It was about great moral principles. Elizabeth Peabody founded the first English
kindergarten in the United States in 1860. Milton Bradley published this portrait of
her well after his Lincoln failure. He also volunteered to teach his own daughter’s
kindergarten class in Springfield, Massachusetts, after the success of Life. And he used his business, Milton Bradley and
Company, to publish games and educational tools, including more than 40 books about
the new Kindergarten curriculum. They made a wide variety of learning tools,
from educational puzzles to influential color wheels. Education became Bradley’s passion, and
the original Game of Life predicted that — it was a way to teach “the checkered journey
of life” to children — and adults. That weird spinner, the teetotum? That was originally to avoid cards and dice,
because they were associated with gambling. The location of each spot also taught a lesson. Old age was surrounded by many difficulties. “Poverty lies near the cradle,” but passing
through it didn’t hurt you in the beginning of the game. Setbacks didn’t earn you points, but most
didn’t kick you out of the game, either. Honesty led to happiness. Industry, to wealth. And perseverance led to success. “I made 50,000 in the stock market today.” “That’s Life”
In 1960, long after Milton Bradley died, the company — which by then was mostly making
games — dug Life from the archives, choosing it over a long list of other games the company
had once published. They adapted it to 1960s America with a candy-colored
spinner and stacks of cash and cars that could load up a full family of baby boomers to places
like Millionaire Acres. “I went to the Poor Farm.” “I’m on Millionaire Acres!” It centered around paydays, where the value
of winning a Nobel was the cash prize that came with it. The winner is the person with the most money. Today’s versions are almost identical, with
tweaks for jobs and hot brand integrations. “That’s life.” There was no more disgrace but there also
wasn’t bravery, or honor, or truth. Both versions are the Game of Life. Which one should we play? So when game night is over, you want your
home to be safe – and that’s where Simplisafe comes in. They are the sponsor of this video. Simplisafe’s effective, reliable home security
that’ll make sure your home is safe. It’s easy to use. Easier than this thing, for sure. Do you know how many times I had to spin this
thing for this video? So what makes Simplisafe protect like a Pro? They’ve got 24/7 professional monitoring,
and police dispatch that’s 3.5 times faster. So if there’s a break-in – hopefully there’s
not a break-in, but if there is a break-in, the police will be called and they’ll get there really
quick. And they’re modern comprehensive. That means they’ve got interior
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– a lot of people like that. This is not part of the ad. This is for sustenance. So all of this is about 50 cents a day with
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makes sure that your door’s locked. Simple as that – a lot of break-ins happen
just because the door is unlocked. I know I’ve done that — I’ve run ten
minutes back to my house just to lock the door. Simplisafe takes care of that. It also keeps track of people and lets you
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One more time, that’s Simplisafe doesn’t directly impact our editorial
but their support makes videos like this possible.


Pepins Spot · January 16, 2020 at 3:33 am

The new version is a representation of "the American dream" $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$! The old model resembles more real life.

Foluke O. · January 16, 2020 at 5:59 am

Wait. There’s a Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’s version?

Joe King · January 16, 2020 at 8:18 am

Hmm hmm… dark?

Peter Gray · January 16, 2020 at 11:44 am

Why was postwar America so unmoored and venal? I have never heard a good explanation for the crass materialism of this time. I don't understand how within a span of a decade we went from the crucibles of the Great Depression and World War II to rearing a generation represented by Donald Trump and Jeffrey Epstein.

Richard Richardson · January 16, 2020 at 4:15 pm

The captialist ethos is disgusting

Eleanor W · January 16, 2020 at 5:39 pm

Monopoly also has a Jail and Go to Jail, does that make it dark?

mugge47 · January 16, 2020 at 9:23 pm

“Money is the anthem, of success
So put on mascara, and your party dress“

Reina Arana! · January 17, 2020 at 12:51 am

I remember playing this game, now not a lot of people play it

witherXD · January 17, 2020 at 3:58 am

Fam are you looking for things to be offended by? The game of life uses money just like points in a video game. The game does not reflect real life all the time dude

Lucas Bevins · January 17, 2020 at 4:36 am

The Game of Realistic Life

Heavenly Troopers · January 17, 2020 at 11:26 am

I'm inspired by Mr Bradley.

Human Potato · January 17, 2020 at 12:07 pm

You mean the one we’re all playing now? The one were we need to breath and go to school and stuff?

LitGlow · January 17, 2020 at 1:08 pm

I like the first one 🤷🏾‍♀️

Austin Crawford · January 17, 2020 at 4:52 pm

tbh the 1860's version would help with our nihilistic generation.

[Zethes Gaming] · January 17, 2020 at 5:46 pm

I like the original one its so realistic than the current game of life

VibeVixen02 · January 17, 2020 at 6:36 pm

Boards against morality

rahulonehart · January 17, 2020 at 7:24 pm

Cupid to hookup

Yubi K. · January 17, 2020 at 7:41 pm

The Game of Life (1860) needs to be a sci/fi-fantasy thriller series on Netflix N O W

Lucy_____ · January 17, 2020 at 11:23 pm

This is inaccurate. How come you still got 100k cash left over after paying for college? Shouldn't you have 100k DEBT after paying for college?

Ben Everitt · January 18, 2020 at 1:18 am

The only way to win in the 1960s game of life is to not go to University, not have any induries or medical costs, and be a musician because that's the higest paying job.

wakamoly plays · January 18, 2020 at 7:08 am

seems like real life. very realistic

Michael Reed · January 18, 2020 at 2:08 pm

We should bring back the 1860s version

Kimberly Johnson · January 18, 2020 at 6:23 pm

I kinda want to play the checkered game of life…that looks interesting 🤔

Alejandro Reyna-Juarez · January 18, 2020 at 6:27 pm

Only took 100 years for American culture to trade morality for riches.

littl cat · January 19, 2020 at 5:12 am

Give us life or give us death

AfterColorGlow · January 19, 2020 at 9:03 am

didn't i already saw this ? maybe a new one idk

Luke Work · January 19, 2020 at 2:53 pm

In Soviet Russia, the Game of Life plays you

Usagi Ishida · January 19, 2020 at 3:41 pm

this says a lot about society

like, it really does

The Corporal · January 19, 2020 at 11:12 pm

I had such a hard time following this video

Calvin's World News · January 20, 2020 at 12:30 am

I played it years later and mused on how the winner – the person who had led the 'best' life – was the one who had acquired the most money. The sole metric upon which to determine the quality of someone's existence. It would probably be an ok game if they reintroduced a dual 'moral currency' where you had to carefully balance financial gain vs being a decent person

I love Angelique · January 20, 2020 at 6:38 am

I want to play the original it sounds cool

AC · January 20, 2020 at 7:52 am

You play neither! You don't play other man's game! You play your own game!

GlennArimas · January 20, 2020 at 9:26 am

Good night, and always remember 3:10

Emaline90 · January 20, 2020 at 4:19 pm

This is why Life: Twists and Turns.. which is discontinued was the best version. It gave or took away life points for different decisions you made and you could travel the board in any way you saw fit.. spend you life with family or getting rich or traveling or going to school. Or any combination!! They need to bring it back!

Chelsea Shurmantine · January 20, 2020 at 6:49 pm

I’d be down for that old one

Cutlery · January 20, 2020 at 7:59 pm

I watched this video like a narrative! I was originally a little bit disgusted by the original game, and familiarly comfortable with the newer version. But by the end, I was disgusted by the new, and comfortable with the old. I don't know how you took me from point a to point b, but I sure am glad you did so.

DEAD MEME LORD · January 20, 2020 at 8:21 pm

Ngl I prefer this version of the game of life

Ascender · January 20, 2020 at 8:22 pm

Ironic that Vox of all companies is saying we should value honor and honesty.

*PICKLE* · January 21, 2020 at 12:21 am

1860 Life is about morals
1960 Life is about money
2060 Life is about doing taxes

Jose Pineda · January 21, 2020 at 12:23 am

The original one looks to me to be a much more educational game I'd actually prefer my children to play. After all, in real life you don't "win" by simply amassing more and more money, but rather by living a life you actually derive happiness and pride from – a lesson too many have forgotten in modern world.

Reine Shi · January 21, 2020 at 1:50 am

Bruh i think yall meant 200 years earlier. Errbody forgets we already 2decades in the 21st century

brainsmasher · January 21, 2020 at 8:28 am

I am curious to know what music was used at the 1:35 mark. Shazam doesn't know either.

shynkovitz · January 21, 2020 at 10:55 am

What about Conway?

bean_soup · January 21, 2020 at 5:01 pm


chris qaqua · January 21, 2020 at 8:12 pm

What’s the music at 1:51?

CarlDillynson · January 21, 2020 at 9:08 pm

This videos not even six minutes, and nearly two of them is the end credits lol.

Agent 010 · January 22, 2020 at 12:43 am

The old GOL sounds like an 1860s BitLife.

Toxic Gamer · January 22, 2020 at 7:57 pm

Man sounds like my type of game

justin · January 22, 2020 at 8:07 pm

I always look forward to your videos. There's just something about how you end them

Sandra Aurellya · January 23, 2020 at 12:33 am

I'd play the old one.

Chantal Bellmont · January 23, 2020 at 4:14 am

Couldn't he have printed a beard on top of the original Lincoln prints to save them?

Artificial Idiot · January 23, 2020 at 10:55 am

I want the original game of life

The Gifted Marki · January 24, 2020 at 3:50 am

And now we have bitlife

To the Horror · January 24, 2020 at 7:13 am

Never knew the existence of this game. Only seen something similar through Google Play android games.

VlaDDrakkeN · January 26, 2020 at 2:22 am

1800s: Life is checkered and can be brutal, but preserverance is important.

Nicole Poon · January 27, 2020 at 2:10 pm

It kind of angers me that they revamped it in such a way that completely goes against the original message and purpose of the game

dadautube · January 27, 2020 at 3:00 pm

did this game influence Monopoly or the other way around?

Heen · January 28, 2020 at 4:42 am

My parents got me a Japanese game of life when I was a kid I was so confused..

boogey man · January 28, 2020 at 7:34 am

I guess now we know why boomers are always so judgemental, arrogant, prejudiced, and most noticeably, selfish.

Jayden Taylor · January 29, 2020 at 2:24 am

That's Life

Schrez · January 31, 2020 at 11:06 am

My gamer brain clicked on this thinking it was about Half Life

Riya Parekh · January 31, 2020 at 7:19 pm

Trust me, the original game of life was WAYYYYY better (ب_ب)

Death Omen · February 1, 2020 at 7:51 am

The original game looks and sounds better tbh.

francisco climer · February 1, 2020 at 4:21 pm

I love how he said Baby Boomers

NoNa Zxi · February 2, 2020 at 2:05 am

I saw a bunch of white people talking about
"The old game of life is for black people"

Sam Potterf · February 2, 2020 at 4:44 am

smart video 👌

Iced Martini · February 2, 2020 at 6:39 am

Mmmm capitalism, delicious

dias · February 2, 2020 at 10:11 pm

thats life

waddle bowl · February 4, 2020 at 2:35 am

What makes the original game so creepy is I have so tbe art style, and tbe yellow back ground. How did YOUNG children remain innocent and unscarred?!

ryehaaan · February 5, 2020 at 6:00 am

i know this from shane conspiracy 😂

Ekim çizer · February 5, 2020 at 8:04 pm

I thought this was about john conways game

Swirl AndTwirl · February 5, 2020 at 9:45 pm

Before life is extremely hard, less freedom, less education, less opportunity more tragedy.

Sonya · February 6, 2020 at 10:47 am

What's the song at 1:52 ? ;_;

Hstat910 · February 7, 2020 at 12:52 am

This really spoke to me on an existential level

Trioptic3D · February 7, 2020 at 1:17 am

The 1860 version. antebellum life

Nguyen Duc Hung · February 7, 2020 at 4:34 am

0:16 When you are an Asian kid but you don't want to be a doctor

Conner Fields · February 8, 2020 at 7:09 am

Why are people thumbing up the moralistic 1800s version of Life?

Patrick Coolway · February 8, 2020 at 4:10 pm

Western Mass gang where you at?

Confused Roleplayer · February 9, 2020 at 12:00 am

I love how the newer version is about money;how even the noble is about the cash prize not the honour behind it.

chloe limputra · February 9, 2020 at 5:12 am

1860: Life is full of hardships, but they’re stepping stones for happiness 🙂

1960: capitalism!!

C9 Viper · February 9, 2020 at 11:18 am

Am I the only one who hasn't heard of this game

C9 Viper · February 9, 2020 at 11:19 am

Dude I swear to god I watched this video or a similar video 3 years ago

Bass Wars · February 9, 2020 at 9:31 pm

I think the current game of Life is a great way to develop unrealistic expectations. If only life were actually that easy.

A. S. · February 10, 2020 at 1:08 pm

The last couple of lines are thought provoking.

Gen Revel · February 10, 2020 at 2:59 pm

Does anyone know where you could get a replica of this?

Its Iris II · February 11, 2020 at 11:57 am

Last time I play the Game of Life, I had to buy a $80,000 house with a $20,000 salary D:

Cade Anderson · February 12, 2020 at 1:06 am

Can we talk about how some vegans are offended by hello for obvious reasons

David · February 12, 2020 at 7:05 pm

Where can I buy the old one?

Guissepi · February 15, 2020 at 10:32 pm

Am i the only one Who didn't know about this game?

Noacier M · February 16, 2020 at 7:02 pm

Vox at 4:11 : wich one should we play?
Also vox: 4:22

duh · February 16, 2020 at 11:45 pm

ah yes vox forever trying to find something to get offended about . classic.

S F · February 17, 2020 at 2:14 pm

Hi Vox! Can you make a video on history of Graduation Cap (Mortarboard)? Seems like an interesting topic but unfortunately not that many videos are talking about it

Matthew Riley · February 19, 2020 at 3:01 pm

How do I buy the 1860 version?

unicorn puppies · February 20, 2020 at 7:44 pm

"Baby boomers"😂

Spencer Crowder · February 20, 2020 at 10:30 pm

what's the background music around 2:20?

George Henderson · February 22, 2020 at 5:25 am

John Conway?

Robert Chavez · February 27, 2020 at 2:01 am

the new one literally promotes capitalism at such a young age, the one one teaches integrity

Kevin · February 27, 2020 at 9:35 pm

it's dark, just like the real version

bulez jassy · February 28, 2020 at 3:49 pm

I was expecting some heavy antebellum era anachronism, but instead found that in some ways the og game of life is better then the new one.

Mariam Meraj · February 28, 2020 at 7:50 pm

The first 30 seconds of this video have changed my perception of this game.
Every time I see this game now, I am gonna get goosebumps for sure.


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