Chus Martinez - On Nude Twister
Twister is a game of physical skill produced by the Milton Bradley Company. It is played on a large plastic mat that is spread on the floor or ground. The mat has four rows of large coloured circles on it with a different colour in each row: red, yellow, blue and green. A spinner is attached to a square board and is used to determine where the player has to put their hand or foot.
The spinner is divided into four labelled sections: right foot, left foot, right hand and left hand. Each of those four sections is divided into the four colours (red, yellow, blue and green). After spinning, the combination is called (for example: “right hand yellow”) and players must move their matching hand or foot to a circle of the correct colour.
In a two-player game, no two people can have a hand or foot on the same circle; the rules are different for more players. Due to the scarcity of coloured circles, players will often be required to put themselves in unlikely or precarious positions, eventually causing someone to fall.
A person is eliminated when they fall or when their elbow or knee touches the mat. There is no limit to how many can play at once, but more than four is a tight fit. When playing Nude Twister covering the participants with olive oil greatly adds to the fun.
Twister was submitted for patent by Charles F. Foley and Neil Rabens in 1966, and became a success when Eva Gabor played it with Johnny Carson on television’s The Tonight Show on May 3, 1966.
However, in its success, Twister was also controversial. The company that produced the game, Milton Bradley, was accused by its competitors of selling “sex in a box”. That accusation was probably because Twister was the first popular American game to use human bodies as playing pieces.
Twister, much like its counterpart the hula hoop, was one of the many toy fad phenomena that came about in the second half of the 20th century. Microsoft Encarta labels Twister as being an “industry phenomenon” that “briefly captures the public’s imagination, and sells in the millions”.
Twister being both globally spread and highly popular is unlike other games of its stature, in the sense that it is accepted by all social classes.
Via Chus Martinez