What Is the Origin of the Name Marco Polo?

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The real-life Marco Polo’s adventures were the inspiration for the game Marco Polo. Marco Polo was a traveller along the Silk Road.

The actual history of the game is unknown, but it very definitely stems from Marco Polo’s travels, according to the Smithsonian Institution. The adventurer and his family were diamond traders in Venice. Polo, as a teenager, embarked on an adventure from Italy to China along the Silk Road with his father and uncle in the thirteenth century. The trip gained renown because merchants rarely travelled the entire length of the journey alone; instead, they employed middlemen. Scholars disagree about which parts of the world the Polo family visited. Some people doubt they ever made it to China because Polo only noted a few things about the nation in the book he eventually published about his travels. The Marco Polo tale, on the other hand, lives on, and he is often regarded as one of the first Westerners to visit China.

His narrative inspired the pool game Marco Polo, in which the “it” player closes his or her eyes and yells “Marco.” The other players react with “Polo,” and the “it” player must track them down by listening to their voices. Some say the game’s name stems from the fact that Marco Polo had no idea where he was headed when he set out on his journeys, much like the player who dives into the pool blindfolded.

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