Game inventor: Anatol Holt

Anatol Holt Hopfenberg (December 13, 1927-April 11, 2010) was a game designer, mathematician, professor, and author from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He came to the United States in 1939. He had mathematics degrees from Harvard and MIT and a PhD in descriptive linguistics from the University of Pennsylvania. In 1953, he and William J. Turanski developed the world's first programming environment known as "Generalized Programming". He also taught in Milan, Italy.   Photo and biographical notes lifted from

The original version of Imago was produced by Hallmark in the 1980s under the name MeM as part of a series of puzzles and games packaged in clear plastic hinged boxes. When MeM went out of print, Kadon got in touch with Anatol by phone and offered to bring the game back, but Anatol was looking to license it to a larger game company. Through a twist of fate we were able to put him in touch with Claus Voigt of Das Spiel in Hamburg, Germany, who were interested in producing it and had inquired of Kadon if we knew who the inventor was. Well, we did have his phone number. Anatol was a most remarkable man. It grieves us that we never got to meet him in person.

Das Spiel acquired the rights from Anatol around 1996 to make it in a superb wood edition under the name IMAGO. It had wood playing pieces shaped like go stones and a dimpled board, and a special edition with semi-precious stones. When another turn of fate put Das Spiel out of business in 2002, Kadon obtained the remaining inventory, which was sold out as of February 2017. It's sad to see something so good and beautiful pass into history. Those who were able to obtain a copy own a treasure indeed.

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