Thursday, December 1, 2022

Weir: Denton County resident invents board games

Do you enjoy board games? With the many forms of recreation available to us, from television, including streaming services, to surfing the Internet for video movies, comedy series, etc., many people have lost the art of challenge associated with board games. When I was growing up, checkers, chess, Scrabble and Monopoly were a regular part of my leisure amusements. You can learn a lot about strategy, and you can exercise the power of your frontal lobe, while having fun with relatives and friends.

Corinth resident Doug Reuter has been an inventor of board games for several decades. As Doug says, “The toy and game industry has given me the life I could only dream of as a child. The efforts of people in the toy and game industry – the manufacturers especially – provide toy and game inventors the outlet – the opportunity – to get that next best invention in the hands of the public. My claim to fame in the industry is that I am the inventor of the family board game SEQUENCE. It took four years to invent, three more to get it licensed and almost one more year before the first copy was sold in a store.”

Doug grew up in Minneapolis where winters are cold and playing games in a warm house was better than playing outside. “My two brothers were exceptionally intelligent and virtually had photographic memories. They took after my dad who skipped the third grade! My older brother got a degree in Nuclear Physics and my younger brother became a lawyer and later a Judge. I, on the other hand, had a creative mind, and was not averse to taking risks, which can be a dangerous mix. If you asked a lot of my friends for a word or two to describe me, they would most likely say that Doug is a RULES guy.  They would say he writes rules for the games he invents to ensure the games are played the way he intended them to be played.”

This attribute came in handy for Doug while he served two terms in the Minnesota House of Representatives where “I used all the rules available to me to my advantage and against opponents.”

Doug says the basic concept behind SEQUENCE came to him in 1974, in a dream. “I woke up about 2:30 am one morning having had a pretty vivid dream about a game. I got up, found a pencil and paper and wrote down everything I could remember about my dream. The basics of my dream were 100 cards on a board that was 10 rows by 10 columns. All the cards appeared to be mixed up. In my dream, there were two sets of five chips in a row on the board – one vertical and the other on a diagonal.  That was the dream.  I had to fill in all the other details that became SEQUENCE, four years later.”

During the video interview, Doug talks about the success of SEQUENCE, other games he invented, including his latest “7,” and his experiences attempting to repeat past successes. Also, in the link below, Doug describes a tragic incident involving his son. “Life has not been an easy road just because I’m the inventor of a very popular board game. My wife and I had three children. Our youngest, our only son, suffered a mental break in 2004 – his second year of college. We had absolutely no experience or knowledge about mental illness. We were all thrust into a world where we knew nothing about what we were all dealing with and yet we all had to figure it out fast.”

Bob Weir
Bob Weir
Bob Weir is a former NYPD officer, long-time Flower Mound resident and former local newspaper editor.

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