Gay mathematician Alan Turing, who helped break the Nazi’s Enigma code during WWII and is considered the father of computer science and artificial intelligence, is being honored with a special edition of Monopoly stacked with locations and events that played a part in his life. Turing’s story is a bittersweet one: Though he was a key player in helping the Allies win the war, his arrest in England in 1952 for “gross indecency” lead to an order of chemical castration. Turing committed suicide in 1954.
This year is the 100th anniversary of Turing’s
death birth, and advocates in his native England have been working hard to repair his reputation and legacy. Google announced over the weekend that it had purchased 1,000 of the Monopoly sets, with proceeds from sales going toward the Bletchley Park Trust, which is responsible for the National Codes Centre and the National Museum of Computing.
The board, a variant of the London version of the game produced by Winning Moves UK under license from Hasbro, is based on a hand-drawn variant of Monopoly created in 1950 by William Newman, son of scientist Max Newman, “a key figure in Turing’s life,” reports LGBTQ Nation.
“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.”
Google also honored Turing on his actual birthday with a Google “Doodle” and by sponsoring a exhibit at the London Science Museum about his life and accomplishments.