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Sudoku Came to the Western World


Sudoku was spread to the west in the latter part of the 1990’s and grew to become the international gaming phenomenon it is today over the past few months. The game was first created in 1979 and although it shortly failed in the United States after its pubication was discontinued by the New York Times, it eventually caught on in the Far East in countries such as Japan. In the late 1990’s Wayne Gould, a retired Hong Kong judge, released the game on a variety of different software programs and was successful in making the game known internationally after he contacted a variety of European publications. He had known of the tendency of these sources to print crosswords and a variety of puzzles, and thus contacted them in hopes that they would print the Sudoku puzzle game. The European papers did print the puzzles, and unalike the situation in New York when the game was first released, Sudoku was a big hit in many European countries and grew from there.


The Times, published and distributed in the United Kingdom, was the first print publication in which the game was released. Within days, the puzzle also appeared in publications such as “The Daily Mail” and “The Daily Telegraph” of Sydney, Australia. However, it was when the puzzle was printed in the British “Daily Telegraph”, interest in this game grew dramatically and it began to appear in the vast majority of the puzzle and game sections in daily newspapers. Popular British magazines such as The Independent, The Sun, and the Daily Mirror all printed game boards. The game even returned to the United States late in 2005 and today, it can be found in newspapers such as the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, and a number of others.
It was the entreprenueral spirit of Wayne Gould which sparked a series of events resulting in Sudoku becoming one of the most famous puzzle games ever created. Currently, there are print, video game, and boardgame versions of Sudoku. The game only became very popular a few months ago and is expected to increase in popularity as more and more newspapers catch on to this growing trend and begin to print game boards. Look out for this puzzle game in your local newspaper or favorite magazine.



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