Alan Turing memorial Monopoly set

Last year, I wrote about the hand-drawn Monopoly board that Alan Turing and friends played with at Bletchley Park. Now it's an official set. Chris from Bletchley Park sez,:

Bletchley Park is delighted to officially launch the Alan Turing Monopoly board, developed from a unique original board in the Bletchley Park Museum, hand-drawn by William Newman, son of Turing’s mentor, Max, over sixty years ago.

In this special edition of Monopoly, the squares around the board and revised Chance and Community Chest cards tell the story of Alan Turing’s life along with key elements of the original hand-drawn board, which the great mathematician played on with a young William in the early 1950s – and lost. The board has been developed by the Bletchley Park Trust, William Newman and Winning Moves, which creates new editions of Monopoly.

In addition to the new board, the set includes:
  • Replica of the original hand-drawn board, complete with William’s own rules
  • Never before seen pictures of Turing, kindly given by the Turing family
  • Turing’s face on all the banknotes – putting him on the £10 not, as per the current petition!
  • Huts and Blocks (the buildings which housed the Bletchley Park codebreakers and their machines) in place of traditional houses and hotels
  • The story of the board, and explanations of the squares throughout “Bringing this board to life has been one of the most exciting and unique projects we’ve been involved with here, and we’re thrilled to see it finally available for others to enjoy,” said Iain Standen, CEO of the Bletchley Park Trust. “This edition really completes the fantastic story of the board, from it being played on by Turing (and his losing on it!), to it going missing and then being rediscovered and donated to the museum here. Of course, we’re also very proud that Bletchley Park adorns the ‘Mayfair’ square!”

The original board was drawn around 1950 and was played upon by William and his brother Edward, but went missing around 1986 when William moved from the family house in Cambridge. It resurfaced in 2011 when the owners of the property discovered a box of William’s belongings, and he brought the board to Bletchley Park and donated it to the Museum. Since then, the Park and Winning Moves have been designing and developing the edition based on this original.

Peter Griffin, Development Director EMEA, Winning Moves, added, “We hope fans of Turing across the globe will enjoy playing on this very special edition of Monopoly. Through play, they will find out more about Turing’s remarkable life and his crucial role shaping the society we enjoy today. As an ex-Kings College student, where Turing himself studied, this was an honour to help develop.”

The commercial board has been kindly supported by Google, which has bought the first 1,000 units as a donation to the Bletchley Park Trust. The board is initially exclusively available from the Bletchley Park website, and from the Museum Shop.

Bletchley Park Launches Special Edition Alan Turing Monopoly Board


    1. hi michael, I’ve explained the reason to this below – hope it makes sense. we did try… (but we’ve included a replica of the original so people can play on that too),


  1. What’s remarkable about this gushing article is that the official board looks ABSOLUTELY NOTHING like the actual original board in question.

    The street names aren’t the same, the spaces aren’t the same, nothing at all is the same except that it looks like a Monopoly board.

    So… what the fuck are you on about, OP?

    1. Hi Keith, the original diagonal line was added by William as he disliked the way that people could own half the board, so he added it in order to make the game more ‘fair’.

      When we first discussed making a commercial version, this line obviously goes against the basic rules of the standard Monopoly game, so it had to be removed, and we had to think of a new way to bring the board to life. Hence, we took elements of the original (Cambs place names, ‘Pyes’ and ‘Listers’ from the original) and integrated these into a bigger board celebrating the life of Turing.

      As pointed out by Stooge below, we’ve included a replica of the original in the edition too, along with the rules, so people can play this, while enjoying the gameplay of the overall game.

      The edition also includes an insert explaining what each square represents, and the story of the board, so we’ve included as much as possible to keep the Turing Edition loyal to the original, without compromising the standard board design.

      1.  In other words, an effort to bring players the best of both worlds, if they so desire. Sounds excellent!

  2. Actually, they could rename the game Monopoly to “Copyright” or “Patents” and …

    /If anybody actually makes such a game, please contact me to negociate rights.

  3. The real question is:  Is this version of Monopoly  NP-complete?  :-) .   Or, does it ever reach a halting state?   Is the little race-car token a “Turing Car” … thanks, folks, I’ll be here all 2^N clock cycles.  

  4. This game has been around for about 80 years. Is copyright ever going to expire on it or is it going to be like that horrible mouse?

    1.  You can’t copyright or patent game mechanics so you could make your own ripoff of this game right now, or even 80 years ago, if you really wanted to. None of the essential elements of Monopoly are copyrighted or patented. You can, however, trademark things like the word ‘Monopoly’ in the context of a board game. This applies to the street names, “community chest” cards and even the little shoe. Trademark never expires as long as the trademark holder continues to enforce it. You can also copyright the box art and the instruction leaflet, but it’s pretty easy to rewrite that to avoid problems.

      So it’s totally legal right now for you to make a game with the exact same game mechanics as Monopoly, but you can’t use any of the names, images or other “assets” of the game when doing so. You could even create card whose effect on the game is absolutely identical to the deck of cards included in the game but that have completely different text on them (no more beauty pageants sadly).

      It’s not impossible to do, it’s not even that difficult. Who would buy it? The myriad monopoly knock-offs sold today are all officially branded so that people know it’s Monopoly under the hood. How would you sell a game that is Monopoly but for which you cannot use any words or images that tells people “Hey! This is Monopoly!”? There’s just no market for such a thing.

  5. What do Listers and Pyes refer to?

    Interesting the way Turing William broke up the blocks so that they are noncontiguous, and how he allowed bidirectional play *snerk*. I wonder what the X spots were. Nothing?

    1. Listers and Pyes is on the original board which William Newman drew, and we retained these in this version as a link to the original. William’s was based on places around Cambridge, where the family home was, and Pyes and Listers were major factories in the area at the time.


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