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Marsha Jean Falco - The Creative Genius Behind SET
Marsha Jean Falco invented SET for her own amusement in 1974 and introduced it
to the outside world 17 years later in 1991.
In 1974 she was living and working
in Cambridge, England. One part of her job as a Population Geneticist was to try
to understand if German Shepherds who get epilepsy inherit it. Geneticists try
to connect the traits that plants, animals and people have to the genes and
chromosomes in their cells. To help her understand what she was looking at, she
wrote information about each dog on file cards. Because blocks of the
information were the same on each file card, rather than writing the data, she
drew a symbol to represent a block of data. She used symbols with different
properties to indicate different gene combinations.
The veterinarians working
with her would look over her shoulder at the cards spread out on the table. As
she tried to explain to them what to look for, the idea came to her that she
could have some fun with this.
At home with her husband and friends she worked
out the game which is now called SET. Years later, her daughter and son, who
enjoyed playing it so much, urged her to put the game in stores. Since then the
SET Game has become very popular.