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The History of Jenga

Leslie Scott created Jenga in England in the 1980s. Scott based it on a stacking game she and her family played with simple wooden blocks and named it Jenga, a form of the Swahili word kujenga, which means “to build.” (Scott was born in East Africa and fluent in both English and Swahili). Over time, variations on the classic gameplay were introduced. Most of these were debuted by Hasbro, which quickly became a licensee for Jenga. These variations include Throw & Go Jenga, Truth or Dare Jenga, mini versions, and giant versions. There are also many branded versions of the game that incorporate sports teams, beloved characters, and famous organizations. There are even Guinness World Records related to Jenga. For example, in 2019, Tai Star Valianti of Pima, Arizona, managed to stack 353 Jenga blocks on top of one single upright block and earned a Guinness World Record for the feat. Today, Jenga continues to be a popular game for children, teens, adults, and families.

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