Sponsored Project

OPERATION: The Power of Play

Suzanne Jurva
Tim Walsh, Peggy Brown

In 1964, John Spinello invented a game that would eventually become the iconic board game, Operation. John sold the patent rights to his game to a toy development company for $500. The game went on to sell over 45 million copies, delighting generations of kids all over the world.

In 2008, John lost his business and then discovered that he needed surgery he could not afford. Fellow game inventors, Tim Walsh and Peggy Brown, launched a crowd-funding campaign to call on fans of Operation to help John pay for his surgery. The story broke and soon John was on Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, and dozens of other TV shows. Within 8 days the campaign raised over $32,000 to pay for John’s surgery!

Hundreds of people wrote to thank John for the fun. Some wrote to thank him for the inspiration. Dozens of doctors, nurses, and even surgeons wrote to credit Operation as one of the influences that led them into the medical field. John learns that the game he invented and the power of play have touched more people, in more ways, than he could have ever imagined.

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