Where Was the Popular Game Pictionary Invented?

John | 15 - 08 - 2020
Where Was the Popular Game Pictionary Invented?

Robert Angel invented Pictionary while working as a waiter in Seattle, Washington State. Angle invented Pictionary in his apartment with two of his friends who later became his business partner. Pictionary was introduced in 1985, and since then, it has been a favorite party game that requires artistic ambition. 

Pictionary History

In 1982, Robert Angel and his friends would gather to play a game that required each player to randomly locate a word in the dictionary and sketch it for their team members. In 1984, Angel moved to Seattle and found his old notes of the game and decided to play a few test games with his family. Having realized the importance of knowing words, he read the dictionary and created a word list. Two other partners joined, and they produced the first 1,000 words game in his apartment. Angel and his business partners Terry Langston and Gary Everson, published the first Pictionary game in 1985 under the name Angel Games. They sold 6,000 copies in a year at $35 per copy. The game was licensed in 1986 in a joint venture between The Games Gang and Western Publishing. In 1994, Hasbro took over publishing the game business of Western Publishing. Later in 2001, Pictionary was sold to Mattel by then the game was popular in 60 countries and 45 languages. A total of 32,000,000 games sold worldwide. Robert Angle also developed an adult board game called ThinkBlot, which was not as successful as Pictionary, but it was surely a popular game for two years. 

People Got into Fights over Pictionary Board Game

The demand for the Pictionary board game was hiked in 1988 when stores were running low on inventory. According to News source, shortages of Pictionary board game prompted fistfight over the last copy of the game in a store in California. In another incident, a copy was plucked from the shopping cart at a Target store in Minneapolis. 

1. Find This Object
  • A. Kitchen
  • B. Ketchup
  • C. Bread
  • D. Plate

Pictionary Hosted Celebrity Auction

In 1988, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society hosted an auction in tie-up with Pictionary by offering the chance to bid on the words and phrases of celebrities. Famous celebrities like Carol Burnett, Bob Hope, Lily Tomlin, Barbara Bush participated in this auction. 

Pictionary Game Show 

Like other board games, Pictionary was adopted for game shows, and the first show was aired in 1989 hosted by Brain Robbins. The other gameshow was premiered in September 1997, hosted by Alan Thicke. 

Pictionary and Iconary 

In 2019, Allen Institute of Artificial Intelligence Seattle debuted a picture-guessing game called Iconary. The game was designed based on Pictionary, where the software allows humans to guess a word or concept from a selection of icons. If they draw a picture, Iconary will auto-complete the image, and the AllenAI also tries to guess the meaning of the image. 

Pictionary Air

Mattel introduced Pictionary Air in 2019 that allows players to use a stylus to draw in the air and have that illustrations appear on a monitor or television through a streaming device. Drawing in the air adds a different dimension to the game. 

How Does Pictionary Work

Pictionary is played with four or more people in teams of two or more. Once the players are ready, the game category is chosen for everyone to guess. Then the card is drawn, and the picturist can view the card for 5 seconds. After 5 seconds, the timer should be set to 1 minute and the picturist sketches their clue. Importantly the drawings should not contain letters or numbers. All players can guess the answer, and the other teams take their turn. Pictionary time limit can be set to 1 minute or more depending on the players. 

Pictionary is fun and a classic party game. Try our amazing Pictionary quiz to guess the different words.

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