Geek Trivia

Which 1920s Era Game Came Roaring Back To Life In The 1990s?

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Answer: Pogs

Those of you who were young in the 1990s (or had young children of your own then) most certainly recall the explosive popularity of the fad game Pogs. Players would collect small cardboard discs which they would stack up and knock down in battles against other players (and, borrowing a page from the marbles notebook, play for fairsies or keepsies depending on how cut-throat the play was).

Pogs weren’t a new thing, however, but an entirely improbable resurgence of a 70 year old game played by Hawaiian children. Back in the 1920s, Hawaiian children would use the thick cardboard caps that came on milk bottles to play a game very similar to the modern version of Pogs. In 1991, a Hawaiian teacher and guidance counselor, Blossom Galbiso, introduced her students to the game she had played as a little girl with the goal of both teaching them math skills via the game and offering an alternative to some of the violent full-contact games they played during recess.

Pogs proved to be incredibly popular with her students and it quickly spread around the island of Oahu. By the end of 1992 the companies supplying milk caps to Hawaiian dairies were printing millions of extra caps to keep up with the demand from all the children thoroughly obsessed with the new game. By the end of 1993, the game had jumped from Hawaii to the U.S. mainland, then to Europe and other regions; a game that had been virtually forgotten was now played by tens of millions of children the world over (and all thanks to the nostalgia and teaching initiatives of a single person).

Image by ZeWrestler.