November 24, 2017
Celebrating Mensch ärgere dich nicht
Mensch ärgere dich nicht, or “Do not get angry,” is a game whose very title tackles the ire that board games can provoke. The premise is simple: the first player to move all of their pieces to the other side of the board wins. But don’t trust the dice — they’ll inevitably force soon-to-be winners back to square one.
The game was invented between 1907 and 1908 by Josef Friedrich Schmidt. Born on this day in 1871, Schmidt was a Munich resident who worked in the city. Inspiration struck when he decided to create an engaging pastime for his three young children. He devised a game similar to others across the globe, including the Indian game Pachisi and the English game Ludo. Today's Doodle, featuring game piece characters made of clay playing the game, was created by stop-motion animator Max Mörtl, with assistance from 2D animator Robert Loebel.
The timelessness of this game is a huge part of what lends it its status as one of the most beloved forms of entertainment in Germany. If today’s Doodle inspires you to give Mensch ärgere dich nicht a shot and your opponent snatches away your victory at the eleventh hour, don’t get angry with us!
In-progress shot from the making of the animation: