Curator talks to students about ‘Secret Lives of Games’




There was no bored in board games for La Jolla Elementary students when Dr. Wayne Saunders, curator of the San Diego Museum of Man’s exhibit “Counter Cultures: The Secret Lives of Games,” visited.

Saunders, who might be called a game connoisseur with a personal collection of 1,500 games, came to the school on June 9 to give students a taste of his collection and share a little of his knowledge about the history of games.

Though students were impressed by his interesting unknown facts about the games (Chutes and Ladders used to be a karma-themed game of ladders and snakes), Saunders found himself pleasantly surprised by the intellectual questions shot his way.

Third-grader Anotnia Lacerda asked if she would have to get the rights from J.K. Rowling if she made a Harry Potter-themed game, and another girl asked if Monopoly was made during the Great Depression.

Saunders encouraged the students to enter the museum’s design-your-own-game contest, of which he is a judge.

For information on the exhibit, which runs through April, go to