26 Life-Size Versions of Popular Board Games

Everyone's favorite board games get a whole lot more fun when they're super-sized. (Also: the pieces are harder to lose.) We've gathered up a collection of jumbo variations on classic board games—if you think we've missed a good one, let us know in the comments!

Candy Land

I was surprised there weren't more life-size versions of the candy-themed game, but the quality of these two jumbo versions makes up for the lack of other variations.

Lombard Street

San Francisco's famously winding Lombard Street was turned into the biggest version of Candy Land ever to celebrate the children's game's 60th anniversary in 2009. Laughing Squid has more videos and photos.

Candy Land Garden

Craftster user KandeeCorner (and YouTube user eieioh1) created a garden based on the various iterations of the Candy Land game board. You can read about her project in the Craftster boards.

Operation

On G4's "Attack of the Show," Kevin Pereira, Candace Bailey, and Gillian Jacobs played a life-sized G4 version of the buzzing medical game. Check out the photos on Attack of the Blog.

Scrabble

America's favorite word game is also one of the most popular games to get the life-size treatment.

Mississippi Children's Museum


The Mississippi Children's Museum boasts a Hasbro-official giant Scrabble. In the photo above, some members of the Navy ham it up at the museum for Mississippi Navy Week. Photo from the Mississippi Children's Museum's Facebook album of Mississippi Navy Week.

Canstruction Vancouver 2011


Amazingly enough, the Scrabble above was created from canned goods for the 2011 Canstruction Vancouver, a canned food sculpture competition that raises money for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society. Photo by Flickr user Karen Neoh (karen_neoh).

Valley Fiesta 2010


The "Giant Games in the Valley" portion of the 2010 Valley Fiesta in Brisbane, Australia, boasted this colorful version of the word game. Photo by Flickr user Michael Zimmer (zayzayem).

Kensington Market


Toronto's Kensington Market has "Pedestrian Sundays," during which this giant homemade version of Scrabble was available to play. Photo by Ish & Jen of SunshineInToronto.com.

World Literacy Day 2010


Literacy Aotearoa Wellington (LAW), a not-for-profit organization that provides free numeracy and literacy support to residents of Wellington (New Zealand), hosted a giant street game of Scrabble on World Literacy Day 2010.

Toy Story Mania!


While this version isn't playable, its size earns it a place on this list. Gracing a building at Toy Story Mania! in Pixar Place at Disney's Hollywood Studios is a folded Scrabble board being hoisted by Army men. Photo by Flickr user Beau B.

Monopoly

These "life-sized" versions of Monopoly aren't quite the size of the real locations named on the popular game's board, but they're still a lot bigger than the table-top version!

Guadalupe River Park


This permanent installation in Guadalupe River Park, near the Children's Discovery Museum in San Jose, CA, is the largest Monopoly game board in the world. Photo by Flickr user HarshLight.

Bally's: Atlantic City


To attract attention for their "Pass GO! Collect $200" promotion, Bally's and Hasbro created a jumbo Monopoly game on the boardwalk outside the Atlantic City casino. More information about the game and promotion at Press of Atlantic City. Photo from ACWeekly.com's Atlantic City Central blog.

Minnesota State Fair 2002


The 2002 Minnesota State Fair included a tented walk-able version of Monopoly. Photo by Stephen A. Edwards from his Crazy Minnesota album.

Mousetrap

This amazing life-size game of Mousetrap was created by Mark Perez and company for Maker Faire 2007. To see more of the game, check out Nathan Bennett's (mostly) night-time photos.

Word on the Street

Origins Game Fair 2010 hosted the first life-size rendition of Out of the Box Games' Word on the Street.

The Royal Game of Ur


Odessa Design created a giant (yet portable) version of the Royal Game of Ur for the British Museum to celebrate the press launch of www.mesopotamia.co.uk/. Photo from Odessa Design.

Chess

Giant chess games can be divided into two categories: human chess, in which people are the pieces, and super-sized chess, in which jumbo versions of the traditional pieces are used.

Jeu d'Echecs Indien


Henri-Pierre Picou's 1876 painting, Jeu d'Echecs Indien, depicts a human chess game in India. Unfortunately, we can't find much more information about it, although there are an awful lot of sites offering reproductions. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Monselice, Italy


This human-chess game took place in Monselice, Italy, and was photographed by Wikimedia Commons user Zyance.

Jai Mahal Palace Hotel


The grounds of this luxury hotel in Jaipur, India, include an amazing carved life-size chess set. Photo by Flickr user squinting.

Taj Exotica


Taj Exotica, another luxury hotel owned by the same company as the Jai Mahal Palace Hotel, is also home to a cool jumbo chess set. Photo by Flickr user Sean Ellis (s_w_ellis).

Brindavan Gardens


They must really love chess in India, because a third life-size chess set resides at the Brindavan Gardens in Krishna Raja Sagara, India. Photo by Flickr user lucy like whoa.

Yahoo! Burbank


Yahoo!'s Burbank, CA, campus includes this giant courtyard chess set surrounded by flowers. Photo by Flickr user Konrad Summers (tkksummers).

Best Western Resort Country Club


The fourth (or fifth, if you count the Henri-Pierre Picou painting) Indian life-size chess board on our list is an amenity included with club membership at Best Western Resort Country Club, Gurgaon in New Delhi, India. Photo via the Best Western Resort Country Club web site.

The Embarcadero


Pieces for the giant chess board at the Embarcadero in Morro Bay, CA, can be rented from the city's Recreation Department. Photo via TripAdvisor.com.

Checkers (and Chess)


Bastions Park in Geneva, Switzerland, has at least four grids painted onto the pavement, with corresponding sets of playing pieces for checkers or chess, whichever strikes the players' fancy. Photo by Flickr user gringaespanola.

Chinese Checkers


The “Giant Games in the Valley” portion of the 2010 Valley Fiesta in Brisbane, Australia, also included this large version of Chinese checkers as well as the previously mentioned large Scrabble. Photo by Flickr user Michael Zimmer (zayzayem).

Battleship


Julie, who writes the blog Jules Journal, and her family created this jumbo version of Battleship for an event at their church. Photo via Jules Journal.
***
26 jumbo versions of our favorite board games not enough for you? Don’t worry, we’re not stopping the fun. Head over to our “Popular Games, Super-Sized” board on Pinterest for more giant games around the world. And if you’ve seen a good one, let us know in the comments and we’ll add it to the board.

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Jeremy Freeman, TruTV
A New Game Show Helps Contestants Pay Off Their Student Loans
Jeremy Freeman, TruTV
Jeremy Freeman, TruTV

Most game shows offer flashy prizes—a trip to Maui, a million dollars, or a brand new car—but TruTV’s latest venture is giving away something much more practical: the opportunity to get out of student loan debt. Set to premiere July 10 on TruTV, Paid Off is designed to help contestants with college degrees win hard cash to put towards their loan payments, MarketWatch reports.

The show gives college graduates with student loan debt "the chance to test the depth of their degrees in a fun, fast-paced trivia game show,” according to TruTV’s description. In each episode, three contestants compete in rounds of trivia, with one contestant eliminated each round.

One Family Feud-style segment asks contestants to guess the most popular answer to college-related poll questions like “What’s the best job you can have while in college?” (Answer: Server.) Other segments test contestants' general trivia knowledge. In one, for example, a contestant is given 20 seconds to guess whether certain characters are from Goodfellas or the children’s show Thomas & Friends. Some segments also give them the chance to answer questions related to their college major.

Game show host Michael Torpey behind a podium
TruTV

Based on the number of questions they answer correctly, the last contestant standing can win enough money to pay off the entirety of their student debt. (However, like most game shows, all prizes are taxable, so they won't take home the full amount they win.)

Paid Off was created by actor Michael Torpey, who is best known for his portrayal of the sadistic corrections officer Thomas Humphrey in the Netflix series Orange is the New Black. Torpey, who also hosts the show, says the cause is personal to him.

“My wife and I struggled with student debt and could only pay it off because—true story—I booked an underpants commercial,” Torpey says in the show’s pilot episode. “But what about the other 45 million Americans with student loans? Sadly, there just aren’t that many underpants commercials. That is why I made this game show.”

The show is likely to draw some criticism for its seemingly flippant handling of a serious issue that affects roughly one in four Americans. But according to Torpey, that’s all part of the plan. The host told MarketWatch that the show is designed “to be so stupid that the people in power look at it and say, ‘That guy is making us look like a bunch of dum dums, we’ve got to do something about this.’”

Paid Off will premiere on Tuesday, July 10 at 10 p.m. Eastern time (9 p.m. Central time).

[h/t MarketWatch]

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Kena Betancur, AFP/Getty Images
Want to Live as Long as an Olympian? Become a Chess Grandmaster
Kena Betancur, AFP/Getty Images
Kena Betancur, AFP/Getty Images

It’s well known that physical fitness can help prolong your life, so it’s not surprising that elite athletes, like Olympians, tend to have longer lifespans than your average couch potato. But it seems that “mind sports” can help keep you alive longer, too. According to BPS Research Digest, a recent study suggests that international chess grandmasters have lifespans comparable to Olympic athletes.

The study, published in PLOS ONE, examined the survival rates of 1208 mostly male chess grandmasters and 15,157 Olympic medalists from 28 countries, and analyzed their life expectancy at 30 years and 60 years after they attained their grandmaster titles. They found that both grandmasters and Olympic medalists exhibited significant lifespan advantages over the general population. In fact, there was no statistical difference between the relative survival rates of chess champions and athletic champions.

There are several variables that the study couldn’t take into account that may be linked to chess players’ long lifespans, though. Grandmasters often employ nutritionists and physical trainers to keep them at their best, according to the researchers, and exercise regularly. Economic and social status can also influence lifespans, and becoming a world-champion chess player likely results in a boost in both areas.

Some research has shown that keeping your mind sharp can help you in old age. Certain kinds of brain training might lower the risk of developing dementia, and one study found that board game players in particular have slightly lower rates of dementia.

If keeping the mind sharp with chess really does extend lifespans, the same effect might apply as well to elite players of other “mind sports,” like Go, poker, or competitive video games. We’ll need more research to find out.

[h/t BPS Research Digest]

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