People, games, and companies referenced in The Sackson Diaries.

These 35 diaries cover Sackson’s activities related to game design, development, and collecting, including ideas for games and the strategies involved in them; games he play-tested with family and friends; information about games he purchased or heard about; relevant books, magazines, periodicals, and articles he read and acquired; business activities with his agent and with game manufacturers; and trips taken to publicize his games and to look for games he wanted to collect.

From 1963–1969 Sackson indexed each diary by the name of each game, book, and magazine referenced in his entries. For the 1970–1988 diaries, he indexed by the name of each person, game, book, and magazine referenced in his entries. There are no indexes from 1984–1986 or from 1989–1997.

This Glossary defines more than 130 games, people, companies, and publications which appear throughout Sackson's diaries.

Other Items and Abbreviations


A Gamut of Games

A Gamut of Games (often abbreviated as AGOG in the diaries) is a book written by Sid Sackson, published in 1969 by Castle Books/Random House. It contains 38 abstract strategy, change, and logic games, most of which had not previously been published. Sid Sackson designed many of the games; however, some were offered by friends and fellow designers, including Arthur and Wald Amberstone, Claude Soucie, Haar Hoolim, Phil Laurence, and Jim Dunnigan. The book is divided into sections: "In Search of Big and Little Games," "Game Inventors Are People Too," "Those Protean Pieces of Pasteboard" (games using a pack of cards), "New Battles on an Old Battlefield" (games using a checkerboard), "Grab a Pencil" (games using a pencil and paper), and "A Miscellany of Games."

Beyond Competition

Beyond Competition is part of Sid Sackson's series of paper and pencil game books, first published in 1977 by Random House/Pantheon. This book contains six cooperative games for two or more players: Space Explorer, Resources, Rescue, Peace Conference, Search, and Round 'n' Round.

Beyond Solitaire

Beyond Solitaire was first published by Random House/Pantheon in 1976. Part of Sid Sackson's series of paper and pencil game books, this book contains six games meant for the single player including Four Color, Pinball, Profit & Loss, Mountains & Valleys, No Way, and Buried Treasure.

Beyond Tic-Tac-Toe

Beyond Tic-Tac-Toe: Challenging and Exciting New Games to Be Played with Colored Pens or Pencils is one of a five-part series of paper and pencil game books written by Sid Sackson. Originally published in 1975 by Random House/Pantheon, this book contains games named after artists whose works they most closely resemble: Vasarely,  Miro, Mondarian, Arp, Delaunay, Klee, and Springer. These seven games create abstract art through gameplay, and multiple sheets are provided so that games can be played multiple times.

This book was reprinted in 2014 as Games of Art by Eagle/Gryphon Games following a Kickstarter campaign. The new edition has laminated pages and dry erase markers for reusability.

Beyond Tic-Tac-Toe appears in Sackson's diaries through the 1970s and 1980s.

Beyond Words

Beyond Words was one of Sid Sackson's books, published in 1977 by Pantheon Books. It included a collection of word games for two to six players. Games in this book were named for famous writers: Carroll, Dickens, Joyce, O’Henry, Poe, and Tolstoy. According to the book's introduction, Sackson was inspired to create literary-based games while reading War and Peace.

Beyond Words was first mentioned by name in the April 30, 1976 diary entry along with the alternate title of Beyond Anagrams. The games in this book appear in the 1975 diary.


Calculate! was published in 1979 by Pantheon Books and is one of the five paper and pencil game books by Sid Sackson. It contains six paper and pencil games to be played with an eight-digit, "four-banger" calculator, which sometimes is used as an alternative to dice for producing random numbers. Games include Run for President, Target Number, Invasion, Away Across, Travels, and High Finance. The book also includes perforated pages for use in gameplay scoring.

Originally called Calculators and Beyond, later referred to as Calcu-Games, Calculate! first appears in Sackson's 1978 diary. He received the contract for the book in November 1978 and continued working on the book into 1979.

Dungeons & Dragons

Dungeons & Dragons has many entries in Sackson's diaries spanning the 1970s and 1980s. This keyword is indexed as a book, but refers to products that are under the Dungeons & Dragons heading, such as Tomb of Horrors (TSR), The Gamesletter newsletter, articles, ads, and "electronic dice."

Playing Cards Around the World

Playing Cards Around the World was written by Sid Sackson and published in 1981. It contains a variety of card games from around the world with instructions and diagrams. Included games are Old Maid, War, Khanhoo, and As Nas. The book also includes some of Sackson's original card games based on activities such as football and the stock market. The book is divided into chapters: Card Game Terms, Games from Asia, Games from Europe, More Games from Europe, Games from the British Isles, Games from Latin America, Games from the United States, and Something Extra.


Strategos: A Series of American Games of War, Based Upon Military Principles and Designed for the Assistance Both of Beginners and Advanced Students in Prosecuting the Whole Study of Tactics, Grand Tactics, Strategy, Military History, and the Various Operations of War was written by Charles Adiel Lewis Totten. Published in 1880, this publication was one of the first modern wargaming systems in the United States.

Totten was born in Connecticut into a military family. He graduated from West Point in 1873 and taught military science in the 1870s. Totten and W. R. Livermore are credited with being the first to bring wargaming from Germany to the United States. Totten authored more than 180 books and articles.



Games magazine is a magazine all about games and puzzles, originally published in 1977 by Playboy and subsequently PSC Publications (1987-1990), Bits & Pieces (B&P, 1991-1995), and Kappa Publishing (1996-).  The flagship title was later absorbed by Games' World of Puzzles. The magazine featured puzzles, contests, fake advertisements, reviews, articles, and game sections like "Pencilwise" and "Wild Cards."

Many of Sackson's issues of this magazine published between 1977 and 1982 were donated to The Strong National Museum of Play by The Association of Game & Puzzle Collectors (AGPC).

Sackson's use of this keyword in his diaries may vary to include the name of a game store, reference to games in general, or the magazine Games.

Games & Puzzles

A monthly magazine dedicated to games and puzzles, Games & Puzzles, was first published in 1972 by Edu-Games, Ltd. in London. The magazine, first edited by Graeme Levin, relied on game and puzzle experts for contributions: Darryl Francis, David Pritchard, Don Turnbull, Eric Solomon, Gyles Brandreth, David Parlett, Nick Palmer, R. C. Bell, Richard Sharp, Sid Sackson, and Tony Buzan. The publication was discontinued in 1981, but was relaunched in 1994 by Games & Puzzles Publications and ran until 1996.

Jeux & Stratégie

Jeux & Stratégie was a French magazine first published by Excelsior Publications in 1980. Content covered classical games (chess, checkers, etc.), mathematical games, puzzles, cryptography games, calculator games, boardgames, role-playing games, wargames, and computer games. Jeux & Stratégie was the first to introduce wargames and role-playing games to a national audience. The publication was quarterly for the first issue, bimonthly until 1988, and monthly until it ceased publication in 1989. Under the same title, but different publisher, 8 issues were released prior to the end of the publication in July 1990.


Playthings was published between 1903-2010 and is considered the leading toy trade magazine in the nation. The publication serves as a record of the introduction of virtually every new toy and in turn, chronicles the impact of the World Wars, Great Depression, suburbia, pop culture, and the Internet. Founded in 1902 by editor Robert McCready and publisher Henry C. Nathan, the magazine was published monthly. The content reveals how toys were marketed and the evolution of product lines over time. In 2010, Playthings discontinued publication and merged with Gifts & Decorative Accessories.

Scientific American

Scientific American magazine was first published in 1845 and is the longest continuously published magazine in the United States. The publication is the authority on science and technology with a focus on how research alters the perception of our world. Founded by inventor and publisher Rufus M. Porter as a four-page weekly newspaper, it became a monthly publication in 1921. The magazine has changed hands multiple times. The magazine has published articles by more than 150 Nobel Prize-winning scientists and notable contributors include Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates, and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Related publications include a television program on PBS called Scientific American Frontiers that ran from 1990 to 2005 and a series of encyclopedia sets published from 1983 to 1997.


German magazine Spielbox originated in 1981 and has been published by W. Nostheide Verlag GmbH since 1992. The publication, focused on board and card games, contains game reviews, variations for established games, and reports. The magazine essentially replaced Die Pöppel-Revueand its seven times a year publication has included games and expansions with an English version published since 2010. The magazine has a Kickstarter project to raise additional funds to improve the magazine, expand the range of subscribers, and ensure the  international magazine will continue to exist.

On July 2, 1981, Sackson wrote that Walter Luc Haas was writing for Spielbox, a new German magazine. In October 1981, Walter requested material on Sackson games FOA and Closing In for the magazine. Spielbox continued to have a presence in Sackson's diaries, generally in relation to correspondence with Walter Luc Haas.

Strategy & Tactics

Strategy & Tactics (also noted in Sackson's diaries as "S&T") was first published in 1967 and is the longest running military history magazine. Originally started by Chris Wagner as an alternative to Avalon Hill's The General, the wargaming fanzine was first published in Japan, but continued in the United States. The publication was sold for a dollar in 1969 to Jim Dunnigan who started Simulations Publications Inc. (SPI) in order to save Strategy & Tactics. The magazine had a spin off magazine, Moves, in 1972 which focused on the play of games, and another in 1980, Ares, which focused on science-fiction and fantasy. In 1982, when SPI was sold to TSR, Strategy & Tactics had 30,000 subscribers. The publication was sold to 3W and later Decision Games in 1991. Strategy & Tactics Press spun off from Decision Games in 2007 to publish the magazine, along with World at War magazine. The magazine has won thirteen Charles S. Roberts/Origins Awards between 1974 and 2009. Sid Sackson submitted game reviews, which were published in Strategy & Tactics.

Games prior to issue number 18 contained only written rules, instructions, or unit lists, but no components. Issue numbers 19 to 25 contained components, but counters were uncut and unmounted, requiring them to be glued to pressboard and cut. All SPI games from issue number 26 were mounted.

Publishers and issues:
Project Analysis - Issues 1 - 16
SPI - Issues 17 - 90
TSR - Issues 91 - 111
3W - Issues 112 - 139
Decision Games - Issues 140 and after

Toy & Hobby World

Toy & Hobby World was first published in 1963 and ran through 1994. It was published by Charleson Publishing Company in New York starting in 1963 and later by VSD Communications from Raleigh, N.C.

Sackson's diaries generally record when he read the current issue of Toy & Hobby World. Additional notes include articles clipped and notable ads, pictures, and games.


A continuation of Toys and Novelties, the magazine, Toys, begins publication in 1970 publishing monthly and semi-monthly in June through 1977 by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. This publication is continued by Toys Hobbies & Crafts which ran from 1977 to 1985.

Toys and Novelties

Toys and Novelties was a trade magazine for the toy industry typically used by store owners and toy manufacturers to determine what to purchase for their stores. First published in 1909 by Toys and Novelties Pub. Co., the magazine was published at varying frequencies over time (though generally monthly until 1970). This publication was continued by Toys which was published until 1977, then by Toys Hobbies & Crafts until 1985.

Sackson wrote on July 17, 1968 in his diary that he decided to subscribe to the magazine. He paid $4 on July 20, 1968 for the subscription and received his first issue in September. Sackson tried to have an ad or article put in the magazine during the same year.

Toys Hobbies & Crafts

A continuation of related serials Toys and Novelties and Toys, Toys Hobbies & Crafts was published from 1977 to 1985 by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. The monthly publication was continued in December 1985 by Toy Trade News.

Sackson recorded when he received issues of Toys Hobbies & Crafts and noted anything that stood out including quotes, articles, ads, and notable games.


Gamut of Games

The Gamut of Games newsletter was edited by Philip Orbanes and Sid Sackson, with articles and reviews submitted by readers.


Aladdin Games

Aladdin Industries published games in the 1970s, prior to being purchased in March 1977 by Avalon Hill. Many of their games were abstract or educational games, including Bali (1954), as well as Sackson's games Corner (1974), Totally (1974), Intersection (1974), and Pushover (1975).

Sid Sackson's archival records show correspondence with Edward J, Shifman, the Product Coordinator for games in the Special Products Division, and Shepard Bentley, Product Manager. Correspondence also shows that Aladdin Industries worked with Japanese licensee, Epoch Co.

Avalon Hill Gaming Company

Avalon Hill Games, Inc., was originally founded by Charles S. Roberts as The Avalon Game Company in 1952. The Maryland-based company was a pioneer in the wargaming field, incorporating hexagonal grids, zones of control, unit stacking at a location, games by mail, historically-accurate campaigns, and more.

Avalon Hill was bought by Monarch in 1971, which later made several high-profile acquisitions in the 1970s. These included several 3M games (such as Sackson's Acquire in 1976), Aladdin Industries games, Sports Illustrated, and Battleline games. (In 1974, Gary Gygax pitched Dungeons & Dragons to Avalon Hill, but was turned down, causing Gygax to form TSR, Inc. in order to self-publish the game) Monarch sold Avalon Hill to Hasbro, Inc. in 1998, later becoming a subsidiary of Wizards of the Coast under the Hasbro umbrella.

Publications by Avalon Hill included The General, published between 1964 and 1998, and Heroes, a role-playing magazine published from 1984 to 1986.

Notable games include Charles S. Roberts's Tactics (1954), Jim Dunnigan's PanzerBlitz (1970), Thomas N. Shaw's Blitzkrieg (1965) and Football Strategy (1959), in addition to various role-playing and computer games.

Eagle-Gryphon Games

Eagle-Gryphon Games is known for their fast, fun, family games and strategy games. Eagle Games was founded in 2001 by Glenn Drover and was acquired by FRED Distribution, Inc., which published games separately under the Eagle Games and Gryphon Games labels until they were merged in 2014.

Game lines include the Bookshelf Series, Tin Box Series, and E.G.G. Series. Eagle-Gryphon Games publishes many of Sid Sackson's games such as Can't Stop, Bazaar, Sleuth, Monad, and Venture.

Ideal Toy Company

The Ideal Novelty and Toy Company (later Ideal Toy Company) was founded by Morris and Rose Michtom in Brooklyn in 1903 - the year they invented the teddy bear. During World War II and in the post-war baby boom, the company's dolls were incredibly popular. Notable dolls include Betsy Wetsy, Miss Revlon, Tammy, and Tressy.

Ideal's Hobby Division began to focus on games in 1962 and brought Mouse Trap (1963), Hands Down (1964), and Rubik's Cube (1980) to the market. Sid Sackson games published by Ideal include Ellery Queen: The Case of the Elusive Assassin (1967, later published as Sleuth by 3M) and The Winning Ticket (1977, though Sackson reportedly did not approve of Ideal's edits to the game).

The company changed hands many times beginning in 1982, after its purchase by CBS Toys. Ideal was later acquired by View-Master, Tyco Toys, and then Mattel, Inc. in 1997. In 2014, the Ideal brand and toy rights was acquired by Alex Brands.

Milton Bradley

The Milton Bradley Company was founded in 1860 in Springfield, Massachusetts. A lithography shop-turned-board game manufacturer, Milton Bradley sold more than 45,000 copies of its first game, The Checkered Game of Life (1860). During the Civil War, Milton Bradley produced the country's first travel games for soldiers, including chess, checkers, and backgammon. The company supported Elizabeth Peabody's pioneering work in education and the kindergarten movement, producing education supplies. The company also manufactured art supplies, croquet sets, jigsaw puzzles, toy money, and adult parlor games during the late 19th century.

Following Bradley's death in 1911, the company changed hands several times, ending up under the care of William Tapley. In 1920, the company bought McLoughlin Brothers (at one time the largest game manufacturer in the United States), but declined throughout the next three decades. Businessman James J. Shea took over the presidency of the company, renovating the plant and game lines in the 1940s, jumpstarting a rejuvenation of the company. Milton Bradley later acquired Playskool Mfg. Co under the direction of James Shea, Jr., who took over as president in 1968.  The company became a division of Hasbro, Inc. in 1984 and continued to publish board games and video games until 2009.

Notable Milton Bradley games include Candyland (1949), Concentration (1958), The Game of Life (1960, reworked from The Checkered Game of Life), Twister (1966), Battleship (1967), and Simon (1978).

Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company (3M)

Founded in 1902, the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company, later 3M Company, produced materials across various fields, including workplace safety, industry, health care, and consumer goods. Among notable 3M products are the first asthma inhaler, Scotch tape, digital audio recordings, and Post-It Notes. In 2018, the company was ranked number 95 on the Fortune 500 list based on total revenue.

From 1962 to 1974, the company published a set of classic and strategy games for their line of 3M Bookshelf Games, which were games were designed to look like leather-bound books. This series included Sackson's games Acquire (1964), Bazaar (1967), and Executive Decision (1971).

The 3M Gamette Series, sold in small boxes, included Sackson's games Monad (1969), Sleuth (1971), and Venture (1969).

Parker Brothers

Parker Brothers began as the George S. Parker Company, founded in 1883 in Salem, Massachusetts. George Parker was later joined by brothers, Charles and Edward, to form the company known as Parker Brothers. The company remained a family-owned and managed business until 1968, when it was acquired by General Mills. The Parker Brothers division was later bought by Kenner in 1985, Tonka Corporation in 1987, and Hasbro in 1991. The Parker Brothers division of Hasbro published games until 2009.

The company has published more than 1,800 games, including Monopoly (originally Elizabeth Magie Philips's The Landlord's Game), Clue, Boggle, Risk, and Sorry.

Research Games Incorporated (RGI)

Research Games, Inc. (RGI), later Athol Research Corporation (ARC), published games such as White House (1971), Movie Moguls (1971), and Sackson's Holiday! (1973).

The company also published stat-based sports games in the 1960s and 1970s, including Vince Lombardi's Game (1970), Fran Tarkenton's Pro Football (1967), and Rocky Graziano Presents A Century of Great Fights (1969). 

Simulations Publications Inc. (SPI)

Simulations Publications, Inc. (SPI) began in 1969 by James F. Dunnigan with the goal of saving the struggling Strategy & Tactics magazine. The company focused on publishing wargames, including Napoleon at Waterloo, Sniper!, and Air War. The company also published magazines Moves and Ares. In 1982, SPI was acquired by TSR. Some SPI games were republished by Decision Games.


Gamers Alliance

Started in 1986, Gamers Alliance is an international network of game players and professionals concerned with all areas of play and quality games. Herb M. Levy is President of the organization and was a friend of Sid Sackson, appearing in many diary entries.

Gamers Alliance publishes the Gamers Alliance Report - the longest running, continuously published review of games in the English language. The report showcases quality games or those that would otherwise be overlooked. Until 1998, Sackson submitted game reviews for the newsletter. Other contributors to the publication included Al Newman, Steven Kurzban, Nick Sauer, Greg Schloesser, and Dave Rapp.

Common Abbreviations


abbreviation for A Gamut of Games, book by Sid Sackson  (1969)


abbreviation for Avalon Hill Games, Inc. 


abbreviation for Milton Bradley Company

P.B. or P.

abbreviation for Parker Brothers 

S. & T. or S&T

abbreviation for Strategy & Tactics magazine

Additional common abbreviations

abt. – about

BB – Bernice Sackson

cont. – continued

dupl. – duplicate

equipt. – equipment

pc. or pcs. – piece/pieces

rcd.  or rc'd. – received

repro. – reproduction

w. – with