FRIDAY FUNNY: Little Did They Know…

When I came across these photos (courtesy of BLDGBLOG), I thought it was a joke. In reality, it was just an actual board game…WITH an eerie sense of foreshadowing.

The game, Offshore Oil Strike, designed and manufactured by Printbox (Scotland) Limited in collaboration with The British Petroleum Company Limited, includes money in very large denominations, because players are going to need it. The creator of BLDGBLOG writes, “After all, it’s ‘a race to find and develop the riches ‘neath the seabed,’ where no deepwater is beyond the horizon of possible drilling.”

Released in the 1970s, the rules of the game go something like this (from BoardGameGeek): “Two to four players compete at exploring for oil, building platforms, and laying pipelines to bring the offshore oil back to the player’s home company. Players take on the roles of either BP (Hull), Amoco (Bergen), Chevron (Rotterdam) or Mobil (Dieppe) in their quest for oil. As with other games focusing on offshore oil exploitation (e.g., Omnia’s North Sea Oil), there is also the risk that storms will reduce production on, or eliminate, one’s oil platforms. The first player to make $120,000,000 in cash is the winner.”

Here’s a bit more on the excitement that’s inherent in Offshore Oil Strike, from BLDGBLOG:

But each player has “Hazard” cards to deal with; here are just a few of the risks BP thought to include (but didn’t seem to spend as much time or effort preventing in real life):

  • “Accident. Rig shuts down while replacement of key personnel takes place. Miss one turn.”
  • “Fire breaks out. Pay $2,500,000 for repairs.”
  • “Hit High-Pressure Gas—Rig Damaged. Specialists called in.”
  • “Blow-Out! Rig Damaged. Repairs cost $2,000,000”
  • “Drill pipe breaks. Pay $500,000 for replacement.”
  • “Strike High Pressure Gas. Platform Destroyed.”
  • “Blow-Out! Rig Damaged. Oil Slick Clean-Up costs. Pay $1,000,000.”

This specific edition of the game is being kept by the Canadian Centre for Architecture along with other oil themed board game dinosaurs. While public opinion would not welcome an oil themed board game in the past, times have certainly changed. Maybe the best thing to do is to make a game out of it?

By the way, nice work on that temporary containment cap thing. It only took what…nearly three months? Eh, who’s counting! (The explosion occurred on April 20, for anyone who IS counting.)