Google Doodle launched its latest interactive experience for users on December 9, celebrating the Mexican card game, Loteria! For the next two days, people visiting the Google homepage will be able take part in multiplayer or private games with people from all over the world.
For those who’ve never heard of Loteria! the traditional card game is similar to bingo, and its origins date all the way back to 15th century Italy, before crossing the seas with the Viceroyalty of New Spain in 1769. Loteria! was officially copyrighted in Mexico 106 years ago, hence why Google is celebrating the game today.
Google’s first-ever multiplayer experience was in 2010, when they offered the Pac Man game, and in order to bring this interactive project to life, Google Doodle worked with five Mexican and Mexican-American illustrators, Chabaski, Ceclia Ruiz, Luis Pinto, Loris Lora, and Valeria “Vals” Alvarez.
Chabaski reminisced, “I remember when I was around 6 years old, my mom and aunts would gather around a table and play for hours until we had to go home. We would bet a couple of pesos, which made it more fun.” Alvarez added, “One of the first memories I have of playing Lotería is from visiting my grandmother on Sunday afternoons where the family used to play, using rice grains instead of chips.”
Google also enlisted the help of YouTuber Luisito Comuncica to act as the game card announcer. Comunica, 28, who’s real name is Lui Arturo Villar Sudek, has the second most-subscribed YouTube channel in Mexico, and the 50th worldwide. He also has 16.3 million followers on Instagram.
Google Doodle Global Marketing Lead Perla Campos, who played Loteria! with family growing up, wrote in an essay about the decision to choose the game as the company’s second-ever interactive game.
“All the worries of the world melted away as this game brought us together. If this simple game was so magical and powerful in its original state, how might that be amplified in the digital space? And so the Lotería Doodle was born.”
“Today, Lotería’s iconic imagery and the shared experience it fosters across people of any generation has become a source of pride and celebration for Mexican culture,” Campos continued. “Whether you play today with your familia or a new amig@ around the world, we hope today’s Doodle inspires fun, curiosity, and a healthy dose of competencia.”
If You Want To Play Loteria! But Don’t Know How, Here Are The Rules:
Originally played with beans, online players of Loteria! mark spots on the board with a token, with the goal of filling it all up before the other players. It’s a game of chance, much like Bingo, but instead o numbers, you draw colorful cards of objects, animals, plants and people, which are specific to the Mexican aesthetic.
A designated card announcer, which is the voice of Comunica, randomly pulls illustrated cards like “La Luna,” or “El Arbol,” and “El Musico.” Sometimes, however, the announcer will improvise descriptions that match spaces on the tablas.
The first player with four markers in a horizontal, vertical, diagonal or, in some games, squared pattern, shouts “Loteria!”or “¡buenas!” declaring victory for one lucky player, and thus, ending the round.