hist-games: farkle

Jane & Mark Waks waks at attbi.com
Thu May 2 10:27:04 PDT 2002

BCSEnt wrote:
> Now when I talked to a Farkle Inc lady a couple years ago about carrying her
> product, she said it was trade-marked etc. So ... I was mighty surprised to
> find a reference just now about The Game of Farkle on the internet alluding
> to medieval origins. Is this true? Can I put 6 dice together with some of my
> own typed up rules in a bag o' dice and call it all Farkle? (I was ready to
> call it something original like 6 Dice).

Far as I know, the game isn't period. I've never seen any references to
that name. (It certainly *sounds* like a typical made-up pseudo-medieval
name rather than a real one, and it's not in the OED, so it's extremely
unlikely to be real.) And the rules I find on the Net aren't very close
to anything I know of real period dice games.

Actually, it sounds like nothing so much as an attempt to medievalize
Cosmic Wimpout, which is the classic game of this type. I have no idea
what Wimpout's origins are (it wouldn't surprise me to find that it's
based on a traditional game of some flavor), but I have no reason to
believe it goes anywhere near back to the Middle Ages. The scoring of
the games is different, but the rules are basically the same.

So yes, it's possible that she really has trademarked the name.
(Although given the way it's gotten spread around the Net, she's not
defending the trademark very well.) But the general style of gameplay
looks to be basically a ripoff of Wimpout, so she certainly can't
prevent you from making up something else of the sort...

				-- Justin

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