Today’s Google Doodle is a an interesting little game that puts you in the driver’s seat of an unlikely protagonist. Sure, there are hockey players and figure skaters in the game – but you don’t control them. Instead, you’re the Zamboni driver, tasked with smoothing out the scuffled ice.
The Doodle, of course, honors Frank Zamboni, the Italian-American inventor of the ice resurfacer. That invention would later be called the Zamboni.
Zamboni started out working with his brother, who owned an ice-making facility. They later transformed that into an ice rink. There, Zamboni invented a way to stop the ice rippling caused by the underlying pipes. In 1949, he come up with the invention that would take his name – the ice resurfacer. He secured the patent in 1953 and began constructing them atop Jeeps.
Then (and even now), “Zamboni” is a registered trademark for that particular ice-resurfacing machine. Calling any ice-resurfacing machine a “Zamboni” is really akin to calling any tissue a “Kleenex.”
Zamboni was born on January 16th, 1901 and died on July 27th, 1988 at the age of 87.
He currently has membership in both the Figure Skating and US Hockey Halls of Fame.
Today’s Doodle lets you operate a Zamboni, cleaning up after skaters and hockey players.
You rack up points as you resurface the ice, and the game is over when you run out of gas. Eventually, impediments like banana peels begin to appear to make your job harder. Once your game is over, you can share the results on Google+.
Here’s the game in action: