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. JK

    Does anyone even read these articles or look at the photos first? It clearly says "Europe" right there on the cover of the game. It also took only a few minutes to find a picture of the game board online, which is of the North Sea, not the Gulf of Mexico.


    July 7, 2010 at 3:38 am | Report abuse |
  2. dr britt

    i like turtles

    July 7, 2010 at 3:43 am | Report abuse |
  3. Martin

    Eerie predictions? Oh, come on, CNN. That's just sensationalism gone crazy.

    Dacques comment is spot-on, and it made me LOL.

    You can start finding "eerie predictions" in everything if you look hard enough. Donald Trump probably thinks Monopoly predicted his future. Kirstie Alley and Candy Land. Lindsey Lohan and Hi-Ho Cherry-O. Tiger Woods and Sorry!. John Gosselin and UNO. Heidi Montag and Operation. Sandra Bullock and Guess Who?. I could go on all night!

    July 7, 2010 at 3:47 am | Report abuse |
  4. Matt

    Does anyone else think this is fake as hell? Does anyone have a real version of this game? Cmon, I think this is a photoshop hoax.

    July 7, 2010 at 3:50 am | Report abuse |
  5. Rhonda

    Beans! Beans! Beans! and Lassie too.

    July 7, 2010 at 4:18 am | Report abuse |
  6. priorty

    it lookls like nostra damus prediction. Does that mean we will be seeing Zombies eating flesh soon? everyday new weird thing happens.. a weirdest story about half man half horse on http://www.mentalmania.com surprised everyone.. we have to see what is next...

    July 7, 2010 at 5:45 am | Report abuse |
  7. MNI Idris

    why is no news channel talking about the Iranian offer to help stop the leak?

    Just because they are under sanctions for whatever reasons sponsored by the US goverment does not mean they are barred to even help on matters that are now beyond the capacity of US government or BP.

    This is a Global Disaster. Stop being cynical about the Iranians and take their help. They are experts in this subject whether or not the US government agrees. Let political ego not compromise the interest of the ordinary Americans and the humanity at large.

    By refusing or rather not even acknowledging the help offered by Iran, the crisis is not going to be resolved anyways. It’s only worsening by the hour.

    The help offer by Iran is so strictly censored by the government that not even the so-called free press/media is talking about it.

    For more information Visit http://www.presstv.ir

    or simply search Google/Yahoo/bing for more on this help offer from Iran.

    share this information with as many people as you may

    July 7, 2010 at 6:14 am | Report abuse |
  8. Chaos

    People have been predicting this disaster all the time but were ignored. Mostly by Republicans.

    July 7, 2010 at 6:26 am | Report abuse |
  9. Frodo Baggins

    Agreed. Let the specialists deal with the problem. In this case, the Iranians are the specialist, believe it or not. But we simply choose to overlook and ignore their offer to help bcoz they are under sanctions for nukes sponsored by US government.
    Lets leave behind ego and political machoism for once and accept their offer to help.
    Lets see if Ahmedinejad is sincere about this help offer and if the Iranians can really do the job they claim to have the expertise for.

    Obama and Hillary, you have failed. Now let the sense prevail and accept international assistance. God help America

    July 7, 2010 at 6:28 am | Report abuse |
  10. 57Chevy

    Why is every fantasy being turned into reality lately? What does it mean?

    July 7, 2010 at 6:37 am | Report abuse |
  11. Boromir

    This is really strange. US can welcome Netanyahu who only wants to take from America viz. money, security guarantees, technology, defense equipment, charity etc. but is estranged with Ahmedinejad who wants to give help and expertise to stop this spill that has turned into an environmental disaster threatening global ecology.

    May good sense prevail and US accept the help offer from Iran.

    July 7, 2010 at 6:39 am | Report abuse |
  12. Gandalf

    US is so obsessed with Israel that it can see nothing beyond. Not even nations who want an opportunity to be friends of America.
    That be the case, Iran does not get any audience with the US government, media and planners.
    Otherwise, no wise government or nation would refuse Iranian help in containing this oil spill disaster.

    Iranians are willing to help. Are Americans willing to be friends?

    July 7, 2010 at 6:45 am | Report abuse |
    • STUFF

      Gandolf: Go back to eating mushrooms in trees your smurf.

      July 7, 2010 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Lindsay

    In the movie "The Knowing", A piece of paper found in a time capsual predicts an oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico...funny huh?

    July 7, 2010 at 7:49 am | Report abuse |
  14. Polaris431

    Can anyone predict who is going to win tonight's World Cup match? Paul the octopus says Spain.

    July 7, 2010 at 7:50 am | Report abuse |
  15. Bordom


    July 7, 2010 at 7:58 am | Report abuse |
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