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Obituary: Othello creator Goro Hasegawa

News is circulating this morning that Goro Hasegawa, widely credited as the inventor of the board game Othello, passed away this week in Japan at the age of 83.

News is circulating this morning that Goro Hasegawa, widely credited as the inventor of the board game Othello, passed away this week in Japan at the age of 83.

According to a report in The Japan Times, Hasegawa came up with the design for Othello as a child in Japan, and later pitched it to toy manufacturer Tsukuda in 1972. By 1973 the company had released the game as Othello, a title inspired by the Shakespeare play of the same name.

Othello went on to become a global hit, giving rise to the World Othello Federation and an ongoing series of tournaments for professional players from around the world. It's also been recreated or remixed as a video game numerous times across a variety of platforms (from the Atari 2600 to the NES to modern smartphones) and inspired countless game designers.

Incidentally, Othello is a different game from both Reversi and Go, though Hasegawa reportedly used Go stones to design Othello in his youth.

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