Google backs Alan Turing Monopoly game

As part of the 100th anniversary of Alan Turing's birth, Google decides to back the release of a special Monopoly edition to honor one of its most famed players.

Bletchley Park Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

For Alan Turing, most things came too late. Some came never at all.

A man whose work was fundamental to the development of modern computing (as well as ancient codebreaking) was so abused by his own country that his life ended in shame and misery, none of which was deserved.

Still, this year would have been his 100th birthday and those who respect his genius have marked it in their own ways.

Google, for example, created an inspired doodle , one which taxed minds and inspired those who didn't know of Turing's legacy.

Now the makers of Monopoly have decided to release a special Alan Turing edition of the game.

The Independent tells me that Turing did love his Monopoly.

He used to play with the family of Max Newman, another mathematician who worked at Britain's Government Code and Cypher School.

They played on a home-made board, not the fancy ones to which we have all become used. This was recently discovered in the Newman family's attic. The drawing of it is on display at the Bletchley Park museum in England.

So Winning Moves, which produces Monopoly new editions, thought it might be amusing to re-create the board and offer it for sale.

"To have the physical artifact like the board brings everything back; it was something he played on. There's something about a physical artifact like that brings them into the room again," Winning Moves' Peter Griffin told the Independent.

You will, perhaps, not be amazed to hear that the large brains and emerging hearts at Google are backing the launch run of 2,000 boards. Indeed, the company has already bought the first 1,000 boards

You see, these boards don't have the traditional large streets around them. Instead, what was Mayfair (in the English version), for example, is now Bletchley Park, where the codebreakers hung out.

Turing's face is also on all the banknotes -- as, some believe, it should be on the UK's real 10 pound banknote.

You can pre-order your Alan Turing Monopoly edition here.

This might seem a trifling memorial in comparison to Turing's vast contributions. But, though nothing can repair the damage that the British legal system did him -- just because he was gay -- something has to be better than nothing.

 

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