Mensch ärgere Dich nicht! is among the 100 best known brands in Germany (according to Deutsche Standards). Many companies have used the Mensch ärgere Dich nicht! brand to convey their standards. Its positive image has helped airlines who don't want their passengers to be annoyed by delays and car rental companies looking to smooth over customer irritation.
In the 1950s classic film "Wonderful Times", actor Heinz Rühmann described Mensch ärgere Dich nicht! as a wise and educational game, which teaches players how to be good losers." And he was right. In 1987, the Spiegel news magazine declared it "the nation's most popular game", which was easy to believe given its sales of over 60,000.000. For almost 90 years the dice game has been a source of fun and annoyance for players across Germany. And it is this very combination that has made Mensch ärgere Dich nicht! THE game of all games. There are now various different versions of the original, which for its part remains almost unchanged, because even now, the simplicity of the design clearly represents the values of the game.
The triumph of this famous best-seller began almost 100 years ago in the trenches of World War I. The game with the colorful wooden skittles was taken to the battlefields from the military hospitals to which Josef Friedrich Schmidt donated 3,000 first edition copies. When German soldiers returned home at the end of the war, many did not only bring a knapsack of memories, but also Mensch ärgere Dich nicht! (Don't stress about it!). With its rules that allow for getting ahead, blocking opponents and mercilessly casting their counters off the board, the game quickly became source of fun family entertainment up and down the country.
This was all much to the joy of Josef Friedrich Schmidt, who was becoming the highly regarded owner of a small games company. Just two years after the end of World War I, the somewhat sullen looking man was staring into the living rooms of Germans from more than a million red game boxes. To date, the company has sold around 70 million copies of what for many is the ultimate board game, and so often an addictive introduction into the pleasurable world of game playing.
Mensch ärgere Dich nicht! has been in the hearts of fans – both old and young - for almost a hundred years. And despite the temptations of video and PC games, that will not change. On the contrary! In 2006, the game was declared the most successful German language download game for cell phones.
The beloved game in the red box, which was invented in Munich but which has been published in Berlin for many years, is as exciting as ever. And at the Schmidt Spiele games company the “old-timer” serves as a role model for new games: They should all guarantee the same degree of fun as Mensch ärgere Dich nicht does even after almost a century.