There never seems to be a lack of creative Google Doodles, but today’s is one of the coolest yet. In celebration of Frank Zamboni’s 112th birthday, Google has popped an interactive Doodle up on its home page. Many of you will immediately recognize that last name, as Zamboni created the ice resurfacing machine we see during intermissions at ice hockey games and figure skating contests.
Google’s latest Doodle tasks players with resurfacing an ice rink after its surface has been scuffed up by the ice skates of children. Children come out in waves, leaving behind more patches of ice to clean up each time. More children will join the group of skaters as the game progresses, and as you get deeper into the game, the kids will begin dropping gas cans you can use to refresh your Zamboni’s fuel supply.
It’s a simple game – controlled only by the arrow keys on your keyboard – but a fun one nonetheless. Even though we don’t often think of ice resurfacers as important machines, Zamboni created them to serve a rather important purpose. Before the invention of the Zamboni, ice resurfacing took a lot of time, as it had to be done manually by a team of people. Zamboni’s invention reduced the time it takes to resurface ice down to a fraction of what it used to be.
Zamboni passed away in 1988, but his contributions to the world of ice hockey didn’t go unnoticed – he was inducted into the US Hockey Hall of Fame back in 2009. Plus, we see machines that carry his name at every hockey game around the country, which is a far better legacy than most manage to achieve. You can read more about Zamboni and the ice resurfacer he created on their respective Wikipedia pages, or you can hop over to Google’s homepage to check out the Doodle made in his memory.