Q:

Why is the game called Marco Polo?

A:

Quick Answer

The game Marco Polo was inspired by the travels of the real life Marco Polo. Marco Polo was an explorer who traveled the Silk Road.

Know More
Why is the game called Marco Polo?
Credit: Bryce Edwards CC-BY 2.0

Full Answer

The exact origin of the game is uncertain, but, according to the Smithsonian Institution, it almost certainly comes from the travels of Marco Polo. The explorer and his family were Venetian jewel merchants. In the thirteenth century, Polo, a teenager, joined his father and uncle on an expedition along the Silk Road from Italy to China. The expedition gained notoriety because it was unusual for merchants to travel the entire length of the route themselves; they usually hired middlemen. There is debate among scholars about precisely which areas the Polo family visited. Some do not believe they even reached China, as Polo recorded few facts about the country in the book he later wrote about his adventures. However, the Marco Polo legend persists, and he is widely considered to be one of the first Westerners to visit China.

His story inspired the pool game Marco Polo, in which a player tagged “it” closes his or her eyes and shouts “Marco.” The other players respond with “Polo,” and the player who is “it” has to find them by following the sounds of their voices. Some people believe the name of the game comes from the fact that when Marco Polo set out on his travels, he did not know where he was going, just like the player who ventures into the pool with closed eyes.

Learn more about Group Games

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Who sponsored Marco Polo?

    A:

    No one sponsored Marco Polo's travels in Asia. He traveled with his uncle, Maffeo, and his father, Niccolo, to learn how to become a merchant.

    Full Answer >
  • Q:

    How did Marco Polo change the world?

    A:

    Marco Polo changed the world by writing a book about his travels from Venice to the court of Kublai Khan in China. His account of his journeys inspired other adventurers, such as the explorer Christopher Columbus, who always carried a copy of Polo's book. Maps he brought back helped to develop European cartography, and he introduced Europe to Chinese innovations such as paper money, coal, eyeglasses and a postal service.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What mythical creature did Marco Polo claim to find?

    A:

    The Italian explorer Marco Polo was responsible for introducing Europeans to many new discoveries, including some that were far from accurate; when Marco Polo saw a rhinoceros during his travels in Asia, he claimed to have seen a unicorn. Because Marco Polo was not used to seeing some of the non-mythical animals that are native to Asia, he confused what he saw, which included animals such as crocodiles and large snakes, for mythical creatures. Photographic technology had not yet been developed at the time of Marco Polo's 13th-century travels, and the explorer's personal accounts were converted into drawings.

    Full Answer >
  • Q:

    What is the history behind the Marco Polo swimming game?

    A:

    The Marco Polo swimming game originated in the 1960s, but its history is unknown. The game itself is named after an Italian explorer in the 13th and 14th centuries who traveled to China with his father and uncle. When he returned to Italy and told of his travels, he inspired others to venture East pursuing wealth.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore