BP Gulf Spill Predicted by a 1970s Board Game?


Image via Metro

Truth is certainly sometimes stranger than fiction. For instance, does this seem real? In the 1970s, a board game was created for an oil company known at the time as British Petroleum. In that game, called "BP Offshore Oil Strike", players build oil rigs and drill off coastlines and in open water. Then, when the rig explodes, they have to pay a fine and clean it up. Sounds like a fun game, right? And yes, this is a real board game, aimed at the family gaming market. Metro has the story:

The mint-condition game, made by Scottish company Printabox, was donated by a private collector to The House On The Hill Toy Museum in Stansted, Essex. It was very rare and 'obscure', said museum owner Alan Goldsmith, who added: 'The parallels between the game and the current crisis... are so spooky.

'The picture on the front of the box is so reminiscent of the disaster, with the stormy seas, the oil rig and an overall sense of doom. I was just knocked over by how relevant this game is, despite being made some 35 years ago, to BP's troubles today.

'It's amazing when you think that their own game predicted this big oil slick - although, sadly, not the extent of the cost involved.'

Indeed. The cost of cleaning up a spill in the board game? $1 million.

It's interesting to consider that the aura around offshore drilling at the time must have been pretty different from today: You'd think the practice was dangerous in an action movie sort of way -- alluring and adventurous -- by looking the board game. Someone thought this game would not only be a good idea, but maybe even a hit. It wasn't, and evidently was pretty unpopular. But it nonetheless remained as a slightly prophetic and ironic artifact from a company that's now touted as being Beyond Parody.

Hat tip to Climate Progress
More on BP Gulf Spill
Breaking Down the BP Gulf Spill Blame Game
Surprise! The BP Gulf Spill is as Big as these Nations and States

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