What’s Twister®?

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Twister is a physical board game released in 1966 by Hasbro. The game involves players placing their hands and feet on colored circles on a plastic mat. It gained popularity after Johnny Carson and Eva Gabor played it on The Tonight Show, but also faced criticism for its potential sexual nature. Despite this, it has remained a popular party game for over 40 years, with tournaments held worldwide. Twister is intended for 2-4 players and can be purchased for $15-$20 USD.

Twister® is a physical board game released in 1966. Popularized by Johnny Carson and Eva Gabor, the game has come under fierce criticism for its potential sexual nature. However, the basic idea of ​​Twister® is not controversial and has entertained the flexible and the willing for more than 40 years.
Released in the 1960s by gaming giant Hasbro, the game consists of a large plastic playmat with colored hoops and a matching board with a spinner. The spinning top determines which hand or foot should be placed on which color circle: for example, a spinning top might produce a left hand flick towards blue. While the game starts out simple enough, the sparseness and placement of circles soon leads to serious contortions, particularly if there are multiple players. If a player falls or puts a hand or foot in the wrong place, he is disqualified.

The game didn’t catch on immediately, until Johnny Carson engaged in a match with Eva Gabor on The Tonight Show. Almost immediately, controversy erupted over the new game, with critics famously referring to the game as “Sex in a box.” By the socially acceptable standards of 1960s America, co-ed Twister® games were certainly a little risqué. However, after the performance on The Tonight Show, the game’s sales soared, making it one of the most popular party games of the decade.

Since its intoxicating beginnings, the game has undergone shifts in popularity. Despite its time as a major fad in the 1960s, it faded from the scene somewhat as the novelty wore off. From time to time since the height of its popularity, it has regained popularity, mostly as a competition or record-breaking game. In 1987, students at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst set a new Guinness World Record for the most Twister® players, with 4,160 participants. The largest Twister® game by size took place in Illinois, with 200 combined playmats.

The game is popular worldwide, with Twister® tournaments held regularly across Europe and Asia. Each year, Iceland and Greece organize numerous competitions, both locally and nationally. Until the record was broken in Illinois in 2007, the Netherlands held the Guinness World Record for the largest game ever played. The simplicity of the rules is probably responsible for the global popularity of Twister®, as well as the silly fun of crawling on the ground and falling.

Despite its somewhat questionable reputation, Twister® is a fun game that can be enjoyed by all ages. Still a popular game, it can be found in most toy stores and is a great party game. Twister® is intended for two to four players and can usually be purchased for between $15 and $20 US Dollars (USD).

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