July 6th, 2010
03:29 PM ET

'70s board game contains eerie BP oil spill scenarios

The BP Offshore Oil Strike game from the 1970s has popped up on eBay recently.

A nearly 40-year-old board game is getting a lot of new attention because of eerie similarities between the scenarios of its play and the 78-day-old BP Gulf oil disaster.

The game BP Offshore Oil Strike, which came out in the 1970s and is adorned with an old BP logo, revolves around four players exploring for oil, building platforms and constructing pipelines - all in the name of being the first to make $120 million.

But like the real-life oil game there are some big hazards, too. Players have to deal with the possibility of large-scale oil spills and cover cleanup costs. You struggle with "hazard cards" that include phrases now part of our daily vernacular, including: "Blow-out! Rig damaged. Oil slick cleanup costs. Pay $1 million."

Sound a little familiar? The similarity has led to discussions all over the Web. It's prompted people to dig in their attics and put their old games up on eBay - many of which have promptly been snatched up.

One copy of the game was donated to the largest toy museum in England, the House on the Hill Toy Museum in Stansted, Essex.

The museum's owner, Alan Goldsmith, told CNN he was shocked when he saw the donated game.

"It was sort of uncanny how it was similar to what's happening really," Goldsmith said. "I thought it was odd that it was a game in the '70s, which has basically now come true. The interesting thing is that it was in dollars, even though it was a European game. The cleanup bill was $1 million, which we now know isn't nearly enough, but it is a weird colorful circle."

The game came out during the oil crisis of the '70s - and perhaps it was an attempt to drum up support for U.S.-based drilling.

Goldsmith said as a part of the game, players work to amass a drilling empire. But the game comes with all of the scenarios of the present Gulf disaster. Even the game board and cover resemble images from the Gulf these days - with rigs attempting to reach far into the ocean depths.

The game has many people online remarking about whether it eerily foreshadowed the current BP disaster.

"It's strange, you've got this fictitious board game with fictitious drama - but it couldn't be any closer to the reality of what's happening now," Goldsmith said.

The world of video games, meanwhile, appears to have a more direct link to the Gulf oil disaster.

In "Crisis in the Gulf," which an independent producer released last month for the Xbox, gamers use weapons to zap blobs of oil.

The game is available for purchase through Xbox's online marketplace.

soundoff (167 Responses)
  1. Kermit Roosevelt

    Wait, this is for real??? Thought this was an attempt at Onion-like humor. Kind hoping it would have incorporated a version of "Hangman" as well, if yaknowhutahmsayin'...

    July 6, 2010 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Allen Schenkel

      Milton Bradly game company need to bring that game out pronto. I would buy it. it would make monopoly second rate
      even an on line game should come out. I would but I don't have the knowledge to do it.

      July 6, 2010 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jessica

      Oh hell, this game is nothing! Go to Go to Wikipedia and look up 'Macondo Oil Well!! You'll read ALL kinds of eerie stuff!! Name of the W... and what it means.. where that name came from, etc. VERY EERIE!!

      July 6, 2010 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Minority of One

      If you think this is interesting.....check out the "Illuminati" card game. It depicts both trade towers being hit by airplanes at the very spot they were actually hit at, the Pentagon being hit and the oil spill disaster. You can take this spill even further and watch the beginning of the movie "Knowing" and you'll see depictions of the oil rig going down that look the same as the actual sinking of the rig not to mention that both spills are in the gulf.

      July 7, 2010 at 1:51 am | Report abuse |
    • eye95

      Wow, this is amazing....that it made it to the home page for CNN. Seriously, what next? Larry King doing an interview with the board game. No wonder you guys are behind Fox News, MSNBC and the Joy Behar network (HLN).

      If you want an actual interesting story, check this out: http://www.dailygoat.com/2010/07/apple-announces-stunned-iphone-suck/

      July 7, 2010 at 2:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Duke

      Sure wish the MEDIA was hell bent on REPORTING the NEWS all in TRUTH- this smells like a Cattle FEED LOT. Remember when they opened a newly discoved tumb in Egypt in CBS ABC or other Sensationalized liberal Socialist media source & WHO does the ANNOUNCER call in to interview??? The Mummy Star- WOW what indepth reporting. Are we OUTSOURCING the MEDIA in USA or dropped the educational level to 8th grade graduate

      July 7, 2010 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
    • BreakingNewsBlog.us

      AMAZING SCOOP: see the new update of my article with the VIDEO, the REAL image, the model (GXP 2500) the link to the manufacturer's website and the detailed dimensions and specs of the giant idraulic SHEARS used by BP to CUT the 21" strong oil riser "like a piece of butter" and that (with an EASY and QUICK modification) would allowed BP to STOP the oil spill from the EARLY DAYS of May!!!

      July 7, 2010 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
    • gums32

      If our presidents played this game we wouldn't be in this current situation.

      July 7, 2010 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
    • jazz

      yeah..fancy that. LIFE imitating a VIDEO GAME, BOARD GAME or MOVIE...mayhaps it was only a forecasting DONE RIGHT. I mean..we are talking DECADES ago things matching REALITY.

      THAT SAID...what ELSE out there has ERRIE similarities? Perhaps those things are REAL as WELL.
      and about the meteor..youd be right..its a matter of TIME..science has proven this.
      Maybe we will be creating TERMINATOR next...or well... some stuff is happening very similary to what is out there...

      and mayhaps even BP PLANNED the accident..but no ONE person has solid facts beyond meteor events and the similarities of this being found... WHICH.. I WILL add...uncanningly would predict the event.

      Remote Viewers, (the TRAINED ones with HIGH LATENT abilities ) know which MAJOR events happen and which do NOT. Some can even find objects or tell you what is at a location BEFORE anyone gets there to confirm the event.This SCIFI stuff is REAL folks.Maybe not ALL of it, but ENOUGH of it. ENOUGH to REALLY AWAKEN people to the IDEA that THOUGHT (whether in JEST or not) CREATES REALITY, and the fact that LIFE often MIMICS TV show scenarios or similar.

      I think that is the point being made. WE are CREATING the REALITY we HAVE SIMULATED so well all these years. The is NO creative effort to make anything different for some reason anymore. WE HAVE the data pad now...and we thought that was just a STAR TREK item.

      speaking of TREKKIES... Roddenberry's vision was for a PEACEFUL UTOPIA, NOT a SCIFI show turned REALITY event, though that seems to be the idea we are running with. The tech stuff was all supposed to be disposable PROPS.

      OH.. and dont forget the Microsoft table as well..you know the one where you put a camera on it and it reads the contents as if by magic and can see stacked objects in 3D. ...and the new TOUCHY TV that CNN and others are now using. That is Windows Vista or 7 running in the background. WE are creating what we WANT from SCIFI and FICTION. I think we are missing the point really, but the TECH is COOL nonetheless.

      July 7, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  2. DP44022

    Game must have been designed by Nostradamus!

    July 6, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • FatSean

      Or anyone who cared about the environment in 1970...

      July 6, 2010 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      not really considering BP had an Oil spill in the gulf back in the 70's as well.... and they even tried all the same clean up measures and just like this time, they all failed.

      July 6, 2010 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
  3. ttaj

    An animation of a scale model of the depth of the oil spill:


    July 6, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Andrew Sheerin

    I would love to own this. But as a decent 2nd best, we made our own BP Oil Spill game ... and it's free! http://www.terrorbullgames.co.uk/blog/index.php?id=215

    July 6, 2010 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  5. S.J.

    In a related story, the streets in Monopoly are eerilly similar to the streets in Atlantic City. Years before the Trump's Taj Mahal, you could realistically build a hotel on the Boardwalk. Freaky!!!

    July 6, 2010 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • shewett

      The streets in Monopoly ARE the streets of Atlantic City. There is nothing similar. When the game was designed, they used streets that existed.

      July 6, 2010 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marc

      I thought everyone knew that.

      July 6, 2010 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sarcasm Intended

      Shewett, you're yet another person that makes me wish there was a universal sarcasm intended symbol for the internets.

      July 7, 2010 at 12:35 am | Report abuse |
    • evelia

      Ha! I thought something along these lines when I read this. Seriously, obvious!CNN has outdone itself again.

      July 7, 2010 at 1:25 am | Report abuse |
  6. NIUThor

    Anyone up for a game of Jumanji?

    July 6, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Billy

    "The cleanup bill was $1 million, which we now know isn't nearly enough"

    Hey skippy...when was that game made again? Yeah...you're stupid.

    July 6, 2010 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Do the math

      I highly doubt a million bucks would have covered it 40 years ago, either. If it has BP's logo on it that means they had something to do with the game and downplaying the costs of a cleanup is something they're very good at doing.

      July 7, 2010 at 12:38 am | Report abuse |
    • erol

      hey your even more stupid because 1 million in 1970 after inflation today is not even 20 million so stop being stupid before you post something

      July 7, 2010 at 12:51 am | Report abuse |
  8. Nisroc

    I bet the BP will start selling this game again in hope they can help pay off the clear up and law suits against it

    July 6, 2010 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  9. MCR

    What is wrong with people? This game isn't some kind of magical prophecy, it just shows that people KNEW that all of these problems were real possibilities even back in the 70's and nobody ever did anything about it. The only reason this should be news is to show the negligence on the oil industry's part, not as something magic.

    July 6, 2010 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      You are right, of course, but it still looks a bit weird because it did use, of all oil companies, BP.

      July 6, 2010 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • JohnT

      Of course they have always known the risks...much more so back then...just like people should know there's a price for driving their cars that goes beyond the pumps. The best they can do is attempt to mitigate those dangers which is why the last time an incident occurred like this in the gulf was 1979.

      July 6, 2010 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  10. dave

    monopoly is based on atlantic city moron, and they are still building casinos on the boardwalk

    July 6, 2010 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • JohnT

      lol thanks for fielding that one for me

      July 6, 2010 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • uh...

      I believe that was sarcasm, honey.

      July 6, 2010 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Tom

    You have an ad right where I want to send a comment!!!!!

    Maybe I can invent a game called "ATHEISM" where all the players try to purge their respective countries of religion, but they come up against fundamentalist types of all creeds, escalating terrorism, and threatening the future of our world. But suddenly, you get "LOGIC" cards and realize that religion is illogical, so you start teaching more science, and your citizens start living better lives until, the ultimate goal of the game, you have purged the world of ALL RELIGION! I'd like to play that game...

    July 6, 2010 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gregory

      Our country was founded upon the Christian religion and the right to express it the way they chose without being under the rule of the Church of England. The founding fathers and many men much braver than you, Tom, died to keep our country free and quite frankly it offends me for you to spit in the face on what this country was founded on. It is your choice to be an athiest, but don't get on here spouting your views when it doesn't even relate to what the article is speaking about. It seems to me that I live in the greatest country in the world and it was founded upon the Christian religion and religious freedom. It is your choice to deny the clear existence of God and I pray that you rethink your decisions as your eternal destination depends on it. I do not make fun of or belittle anyone for their views. I am a Christian and obviously disagree with your view but do not go around making it a point to belittle others who do not share my view.

      July 6, 2010 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • J G

      Me too!

      July 6, 2010 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nachum

      Just keep in mind, the three greatest mass murders in the history of the world were Mao(approx 120,000,000 dead), Stalin(approx 70,000,000 dead), and Hitler comes in third at approx 40, 000,000 dead. A bunch of atheists(Hitler might be better classed as a pagan)

      July 6, 2010 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • cheeky1

      lol good one!

      July 6, 2010 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jillian

      Considering Mao, Stalin and Hitler all had more efficient ways of killing people than most of history's religious mass-murderers, it's important to note that more people TOTAL have still died in the name of religion than in the name of oppressive totalitarianism (which, you are right, is largely athiest). Although, if Hitler was a 'pagen' as you suggested, he doesn't fit the atheist description anymore and drops out of your line-up. You can use numbers to prove anything, if you chose the right numbers and spout them off in the right way; what you just did is a classic example of that. Some people, who happen to be atheists, kill because they're greedy and disturbed. Some are religious and kill because they are greedy and disturbed, and justify it with their religion. The only difference is how they convince people to follow them. Is it fear of themselves, or fear of their god? The real problem with religion is not with these whack jobs, but with the societal implications on a smaller level. Self-righteousness, indignation and bigotry.

      July 6, 2010 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • jon

      As a Christian, I can't understand why Christians can't just worship without pushing beliefs onto everyone else. I also can't understand why those who don't believe in religion can't just keep that to themselves as well. No matter what you believe, once you start pushing it on others or going out of your way to announce your viewpoint to the world...that's when you need to stop. The world would be a MUCH better place.

      July 6, 2010 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Guest

      Wait a minute, aren't those SCIENTISTS in the gulf who are out there making our lives better right this minute? Yeah, thought so.....

      July 6, 2010 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chad

      Religion isn't illogical. Atheists think believing is illogical, the truth is believeing can be difficult, but the need for believing is inescapable, it is programed into our genes, and it wasn't put there by the nutty professor.

      July 7, 2010 at 12:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Griffin

      Greg, could you name some examples of Christian values that were put into the ideals behind the creation of our nation?

      I'm a non-religious person, but I'm not going to claim that the nation was built on non-religious values just because that's how I like to see the world – so stop doing that yourself, and go learn something.

      Also, the big problem with 'atheist' mass murderers is that they did not do these things in the name of 'atheism'. With the case of Stalin, in particular, it had to do with civil religion, the idea of the state (and Stalin) as 'god' and no dissenting opinions allowed. This is not a hallmark of atheist thought. Hitler, on the other hand was a Roman Catholic (we can doubt his sincerity, and he did not appear to do anything in the name of Roman Catholicism, only in German nationalism, which again, can be classified as a sort of 'civil religion'). We have a civil religion here in America, and it is shrouded by the idea of Christianity. Still, the ideals which are followed here are hardly Christian. For one, a real Christian would never use the term 'God and Country'.

      July 7, 2010 at 2:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Gregory

      19 "Since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. Romans 1:19-20

      We share the Gospel as Christians because Jesus Christ commands us to share the truth in Matt 28:19-20 and Acts 1:8—the Great Commission

      July 7, 2010 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • STUFF

      As the saying goes, 'There is no such thing as an atheist in a foxhole'. Just wait until you claim to NEED God, then you will go crawling back to him. Thankfully he only pities you and others who think like you and will welcome you back. ALL ATHEISTS are simply bitter because they have not had someone explain to them properly WHY evil is PERMITTED, WHO is to blame, and WHEN it will end.

      July 7, 2010 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Chopswell

    To MCR...You are right on there, buddy! They've known for 40 years + the risks and thanks to Dick(head) Cheney and the other bureaucrats, they eventually screwed up large. Now if they could only invent the follow up game, "OIL SPILL RECOVERY."

    July 6, 2010 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • we

      I would be more interested in asking Hillary how we got this mess.

      July 6, 2010 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • JohnT

      she lost....get over it

      July 6, 2010 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Tim

    Why are they not all in jail?

    Maybe because the government and corporations are tied together.

    July 6, 2010 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • we

      Ask Panetta?

      July 6, 2010 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • t.c.

      they arent in jail because if we remove bp from the picture we remove the backroom paydays and large campaign donations they provide to our crooked double standardized legal and governmental systems

      July 6, 2010 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
  14. we

    Shrek 4 Official Trailer HD
    Notice how the Englander in the movie looks a lot like Tony Hayward. Think cartoons are telling another story or hinting at possibilities that the culprits are known in real life and that it was a contracted deal perhaps a attack on American waters all planned by man to give the illusion of the last days. Why did Bush purchase that land in Paraguay? Think he knew what was planned? Is it the Stalin possibilty or a socialist act?
    Do movies and cartoons depict life or fantasy?

    July 6, 2010 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Emily

      Wow. I'm all for entertaining the conspiracy theories, "WE", but you're nuts.

      Since BP marketed this to drum up support for their drilling in the 70s, it does show they knew the potential for disasters. Their gross negligence and unbelievable greed made this game a self-fulfilling prophecy.

      July 7, 2010 at 1:24 am | Report abuse |
    • 57Chevy

      Despite the reply from Emily, I think your theory is quite interesting and might hold fact.

      July 7, 2010 at 6:47 am | Report abuse |
    • STUFF

      SHREK!?!?! bahahahh. Seriously though, you know who else predicts disasters? Barney the Purple Dinosaur. Yep, that's right. Whenever he bounces around with that perpetual gigantic smile and stares deep into your eyes through the television, he is really hypnotizing you into buying Cheetos. He knows that if every American buys a bag of Cheetos and eats said bag on December 31st 2012 as will be instructed by Lord Barney, the world will be engulfed in a sea of cheese and will explode !

      This is why when I see a bag of cheetos in the grocery store I run screaming and crying out of there. Yeah, I get looks but I know what is to befall mankind....and it aint pretty.

      July 7, 2010 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Ron from Houston

    Does anyrone remember the late 1980's PC game "Crisis in the Kremlin". It came out 2 or 3 years before the collapse of communisim and had some scenarios that seemed crazy at the time, but a couple of years later we saw real life play out in eeirie simularity... the game predicted the break away of the easter block countries and the Baltic Republics, the hardline coup that topled Gorbechov the followed right down the the "sudden illness", patriotic music on every TV channel in the USSR, and resulting power grabs that brought down the rest of the soviet empire in scary detail... playing it after it was like someone had a crystal ball or something when they wrote it. I guess history is repeating itself with more game designer prophets.

    July 6, 2010 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • we

      They do have a crystal ball just ask Hillary and that group she has a membership in. Does anyone wonder why we have a president that gets in front of America and makes a statement like choose a side "red or blue". Simular to the east and west walls of Germany isn't it? Besides a nation that is divided will fall that much faster, so who do you think Obama is connected to?

      July 6, 2010 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • dave

      The scenarios didn't seem all that crazy at the time. What happened after Gorbachev was pretty much what all the experts predicted, right down to the war in Yugoslavia.

      July 6, 2010 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
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