A British toy museum has uncovered a rare BP-branded board game that eerily foreshadows the disastrous Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Released in the 1970s, "BP Offshore Oil Strike" allows up to four "would-be tycoons" to explore for oil, construct drilling platforms and lay pipelines. The first to reach $120 million wins. But to get there, players must avoid "hazard cards," one of which states: "Blow-out! Rig damaged. Oil slick clean-up costs. Pay $1 million." With BP's actual clean-up costs now exceeding $3 billion, commentators have reacted to the game's discovery with a certain deadly wit. Here, a sample of their biting remarks:
Close, but no cigar
"The only things missing" from this game, says Jane Wells in CNBC, "are artistic renderings of dead pelicans and oil billowing out of the ocean floor."
"What's next," asks Michael Crowley in Time, "a rigged deck of Goldman Sachs playing cards?"
A fine diversion for future CEOs
"You have to wonder if this is how a young Tony Hayward got his start," says Brett Michael Dykes in Yahoo News.
Losers can't be choosers
"One can only imagine," says John Funk in The Escapist, "that BP wishes that this game, like so much else, would just disappear forever beneath the waves."
BP says "no one could have predicted" the spill, says Ben Popken in The Consumerist. "Looks like [they] did, 30 years ago, and turned in into a game that's fun for the whole family."
How'd it flop?
It "surprises me" that this game wasn't more popular, says Nikki Gloudeman in Change.org. "Just look at the success of Monopoly, a wildly popular board game predicated on reckless investments"!
This would "be a great joke," says Gary Cutlack in Gizmodo, "if it wasn't real."