After Hours

Alan Turing Monopoly: Board game celebrates the life of the father of computing (pictures)

Alan Turing played a pivotal role in cracking the Nazi Enigma code during the Second World War and devising theories that underpin modern computing.

Yet Turing's genius in mathematics and logical thinking was little help when it came to the fiendishly unpredictable game of Monopoly - with Turing reputedly losing at the game to the young son of his colleague Max Newman.

To commemorate Turing's life, and to coincide with the centenary year of his birth, a commemorative version of the board game has been released.

Familiar locations and events from the game changed to reflect Turing's story. Instead of buying Old Kent Road and Park Lane, players instead snap up locations like Hut 8 at Bletchley Park, where Alan Turing carried out his World War II codebreaking activities, and the University of Manchester, where Turing worked with the Manchester Mark I, one of the earliest electronic computers.

Elements of the board are based upon one drawn up by young William Newman more than sixty years ago.

The board has been developed by the Bletchley Park Trust, William Newman and the firm Winning Moves, which creates new editions of Monopoly.

The board has been supported by Google, which has bought the first 1,000 units as a donation to the Bletchley Park Trust. The board is initially exclusively available from the Bletchley Park website, and from the Park's museum shop.

Photo: Bletchley Park Trust

By Nick Heath

Nick Heath is a computer science student and was formerly a journalist at TechRepublic and ZDNet.