Once upon a time there was no such thing as Jenga (or any of the knock-off versions).
Then Leslie Scott invented it and brought “I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll pull out a piece of the tower and knock your house down” to life.
The name “Jenga” comes from a Swahili word meaning “to build.” Which is kind of ironic when you think about it.
Ms. Scott launched Jenga at the London Toy Fair in 1983 (you thought it had been around forever, didn’t you?), and although it didn’t take off for a number of years it’s now Played all over the world.
Jenga blocks are deliberately made with irregularities which I think is possibly the most interesting fact about the game.
There are a bunch of variations of the game, including (I have it on good authority) a drinking game version that is commonly played on college campuses. And—it turns out—there is also a digital version which (it seems to me) may be the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard about this week.
Then again, it’s Monday and there is plenty of room for ridiculousness.