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. Leonard

    BP needs to wake up and stop playing games with this real life disaster.

    July 7, 2010 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
  2. Leonard

    Wow.

    July 7, 2010 at 8:27 am | Report abuse |
  3. PJC

    How is this a news story? Seriously? Why no mention of Risk as an 'eerie' precursor for all the nation-invading that's been going on in the last decade? Turns out Monopoly really had that banking crisis thing figured out... Twister, well that obviously predicted the scandal involving Catholic priests.

    Please CNN, find your journalistic heart again.

    July 7, 2010 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
  4. STEAV

    Ya, we had ours out the other night. The kids didn't put it away when done and I slipped on the board during the night.

    July 7, 2010 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
  5. Joe R.

    I'm not impressed. It's a game folks. I can make a prediction today that "an asteroid will one day hit earth," and one day I'll be proven correct. It may be tomorrow, next year, or hundreds of years from now. "But mark my word, it will happen."

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

    Hey, does this mean that Candyland really does exist somewhere??????????

    July 7, 2010 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  7. John Amschler

    Maybe it was so easy to make the game because this happened back in June 1979...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPbUrB0moUA&playnext_from=TL&videos=Jf3VqcPWdjc

    July 7, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  8. marian

    What's funny is this board game presents a scenario that BP denied in its environmental impact filing with MMS. BP claimed any possibility of an accident would be extremely remote and in any event minor and easy to clean up. What did '70s board game manufacturer's know that BP and the government agencies that signed off on their drilling plan (and failed to inspect adequately) did not? It's like the US government and the oil companies were in a Mad Hatter's tea party mindset where their version of reality couldn't even imagine the real reality.

    July 7, 2010 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mike

    Believe in Jesus Christ. Call on His Holy Name. Experience His peace, Love and forgiveness right here and now.

    July 8, 2010 at 1:50 am | Report abuse |
  10. Bilbo Baggins

    IRAN offering help to stop the oil leak. These guys have the real skills and expertise for this job.

    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.

    Wake up Mr. President

    July 8, 2010 at 2:39 am | Report abuse |
  11. Scalsismawl

    hows it goin folks, id like to say hi and i just wanna start talking on this forum looks like ill have some interesting subjects..

    July 8, 2010 at 6:55 am | Report abuse |
  12. Sauron & Soromon

    Why is no news channel talking about the IRANIAN offer to help stop the oil leak?

    Just because they are under sanctions for whatever reasons sponsored by the US goverment does not mean they are barred to even help us 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 relief well and dispersents and etc etc are all lies. Neither US government nor BP knows wat to do about the leak. Eventually Mr. Prseident may decide to nuke the well. But that's even worse than the leak. The Gulf coast and its ecology would change for the next 10000 yrs if nuked. If the oil spill reached the northern parts of the Atlantic, it could disrupt the flow of ocean currents thereby adding to the global warming effects viz. El Nino, hurricanes etc.
    If the well is nuked, it will destry all ocean life in the gulf of mexico. So, the only logical way out is to take foreign help from nations that have the necessary skill, be it the enemy, for the greater good of humanity.

    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 8, 2010 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
  13. mother nature

    Why is no news channel talking about the IRANIAN offer to help stop the oil leak?

    Just because they are under sanctions for whatever reasons sponsored by the US goverment does not mean they are barred to even help us 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 relief well and dispersents and etc etc are all lies. Neither US government nor BP knows wat to do about the leak. Eventually Mr. Prseident may decide to nuke the well. But that's even worse than the leak. The Gulf coast and its ecology would change for the next 10000 yrs if nuked. If the oil spill reached the northern parts of the Atlantic, it could disrupt the flow of ocean currents thereby adding to the global warming effects viz. El Nino, hurricanes etc.
    If the well is nuked, it will destry all ocean life in the gulf of mexico. So, the only logical way out is to take foreign help from nations that have the necessary skill, be it the enemy, for the greater good of humanity.

    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.

    July 8, 2010 at 8:06 am | Report abuse |
  14. Lindsay

    Hilarious new BP CEO Apology Outtakes video from comedian Kyle Cease!

    http://www.atom.com/funny_videos/cease_bp_apology_outtakes/

    July 8, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  15. dr britt

    @mother nature...TROLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL leave this forum, this is NOT a Iranian LOVEFEST forum. How many other names are using???

    July 9, 2010 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
    • dr britt

      i like turtles!

      July 10, 2010 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
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