GirlHacker's Random Log

almost daily since 1999

Careers the board game


My parents still have our old board games. I went through them recently and will be writing about a few. My favorite of the bunch is Careers. That’s our copy above on the left with the masking tape. It never achieved the popularity of Monopoly or Life and very few people I’ve mentioned it to have heard of it. When I went searching for Careers fans on the Internet I found two write-ups, both from players who had discovered it recently. One researched different versions of the game as it was updated through the years. The other, over on ReadyMade, actually got in contact with the daughter of James Cooke Brown, the creator of Careers. Turns out he lived the philosophy of his game in real life. Careers, you see, is aptly pluralized as you move around the board trying different career paths to gather fame, fortune, and happiness points to meet your 60 point Success Formula, the sum of all 3 allocated by your preference. You might go into business and politics and become a movie star. In the different versions of the game you might become a farmer, a teacher, a uranium prospector, an astronaut, and sit on park bench or in the unemployment office. You might enjoy, as I did, getting stuck on the stock market square, buying stock and rolling a die hoping for a big profit (in my memory it was the “gambling career” square). James Cooke Brown had several careers and interests himself. He was a statistician, professor of sociology, wrote science fiction, and invented Loglan. He programmed a university computer to play Careers and analyze the different formulas and he catalogued completed score cards that players sent in for replacements. The goal of Careers is not to stay in one field but to do many things in your life to achieve your own Success Formula.

Posted in nostalgia