‘Operation’ game inventor can’t afford his own surgery
Fifty years ago, John Spinello, a student at the University of Illinois, invented the board game ‘Operation’ which lets kids pretend to be surgeons. Now at the age of 77, Spinello can’t afford his own real-life operation, reports Huffington Post.
The oral surgery that he needs will cost him $25,000—a burdensome bill after selling the rights to his ‘Operation’ game to Milton Bradley for just $500.
Spinello’s friend Tim Walsh estimates that since the game’s 1965 debut, at least $40 million has been generated in sales. Walsh said that Spinello, however, is not bitter.
“Look, everyone needs medical care,” Spinello told Huffington Post. “I prefer not to dwell on that aspect and focus more on the joy that the game has brought to so many over the years.”
To help Spinello afford his healthcare costs, some toy industry friends launched a crowd-funding campaign. So far, $2,183 has been raised. Spinello will also host an auction in December for the original prototype of the ‘Operation’ board game, where he hopes to raise an additional $35,000.
Walsh told Huffington Post that gamemaker Hasbro, the current owner of rights to ‘Operation’, supported the fundraising campaign by allowing the use of promo images. The company has expressed interest in the prototype.