Operation (the game)

Remember the game Operation? My friend’s dad, John Spinello is the guy who invented the game.

He was in college, needed cash, so he sold the game for a few hundred dollars. The game went on to sell millions of copies. John recently needed surgery that he was unable to afford. Word got out and crowd sourcing helped pay for what was needed. A documentary about John and the game is in production.

Once I buy him a beer tonight, I’ll add his name to the list of famous people who I’ve bought drinks. Jack Lambert (NFL HOF), Flea (RHCP), Keb Mo (Kevin Moore), and John Spinello.


On his Bread Basket or his Funny Bone?

I only knew one of your famous peeps.

One of us needs to get out more.

Probably me :frowning:

“Famous” to me, I guess. Who’d you know?

Cool story, kayaker. We played with that as kids.

I recognized all the names. Great story!

I hated that damn game.

Obviously it was given to me a bit too young…that or I had the DTs at way too young an age :slight_smile:

Good for him!

I loved that game and I can never get anyone to play it with me. I can still remember the commercial where the woman says " . . .operate?!" and the annoying little kid yells “take out wrenched ankle!!”.

Can anyone remember all the maladies / body parts without looking it up?

Adams apple
Bread basket
Funny bone
Wrenched ankle
Water on the knee
Butterflies in the stomach
Spare rib (?)
Something about removing a rubber band that I can’t quite recall

Those are all I remember though it seems there were a few more.

All pretty easy except for Writer’s Cramp. That damn pencil was nearly impossible.

I’m interested in the stories of you buying these people a beer? Especially Keb Mo, since I’m a fan.

Well, a good friend of mine owns a blues bar in Pittsburgh, and he was instrumental (:)) in helping Kevin get started in the music business. They’ve been friends from the start, so when there is a Keb Mo show anywhere nearby we often hang out.

Flea has had tattoo work done by Pittsburgh legend Moose (RIP). My first tattoo was done by Moose and we became friends. One day he called me to let me know that members of Red Hot Chili Peppers were coming to the shop, so I hurried over and hung out. I brought a cooler with beers. A 12 pack lasted 12 minutes.

I met Jack Lambert through a friend who rides motorcycles with him. We had a bunch of non-football things in common and became friends. We’ve bought each other many beers.

And now, John Spinello. Very cool guy. Everyone at the get together had a story about the game. A woman brought an original mint condition copy for him to sign! I stopped at Walmart and bought one. The cashier mentioned that for some reason they were selling like hot cakes. :smiley:


In an episode of Sherlock, Sherlock and Mycroft are playing a game which is only shown at the end of the scene. My husband and I assumed that it was chess. It was Operation.

Wikipedia says that the “rubber band thing” was “Ankle bone connected to the knee bone.”
It also says that among the variations on this game is a British Doctor Who version in which you can “operate” on a Dalek. (Okay, everybody, say “Operate” in your Dalek voice…)


Moving to Game Room.

Your friends Dad might get a kick out of this then!

18 February 2011 - we attended a meeting of “The Edinburgh Secret Society” entitled “An Evening of Death”. Scroll down to the entry for that date here if you wish:


I quote "*For this event we arranged special access to a stunning historic building that is rarely open to the public – Edinburgh University’s Anatomy Lecture Theatre. Built in the late 1880s, this amazing venue contains steeply raked seats rising above a central dissecting table, and has been home to many infamous cadavers.

This is where we celebrated an evening of death, including the strangest of manifestations from beyond the grave, the true story of the man who cheated death, and a Victorian machine first created to talk to the dead. There was also a live operation, and some surprisingly haunting melodies to enliven everybody. At this event we were joined by the fabulous SpaceDog.*"

The ***live operation ***turned out to be two members of the audience being invited down only to find they were matched head to head in a game of Operation!

For more info on the game operation see: https://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/3737/operation. John Spinello is indeed credited together with a Marvin Glass.

Here is a brief bio of John https://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgamedesigner/36291/john-spinello . Apparently he was assigned the game as a project during this studies.

The co-designer was his employer - Marvin Glass - who also invented Mouse Trap and Masterpiece! See https://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgamedesigner/3743/marvin-glass