Since the earliest of civilizations, boredom was a common trait. To cure this, people invented board games. Through our exploration of ancient games we found that most of the games played today were also played centuries ago. Although the names might have changed, the concept and play remain the same.
Tafl is a Viking game that was designed around 400 AD. . Because the Vikings shared it on their ventures, the game spread all across Eastern Europe. As Tafl was shared it started into evolve into modern day chess, and another short lived Milton Bradley game known as Swords and Shields.
Known today as Chinese Checkers, Stern Halma (translates to “star jump”) was actually invented in Germany in 1892! The name Chinese Checkers is misleading, as the game is neither checkers nor did it originate in China. The Pressman Company changed the name to Chinese Checkers in 1928 to make it sound more appealing. The name change was highly effective, as it is still a well known board game today.
Designed in the 16th Century, this game began in India. It emphasized morality and the role of Karma. As players progressed through the game they were presented with a life journey which included vices and virtues, or snakes and ladders. It is a simple race game and the winner is the player who makes it to the palace first. In the United States, the game is known as Chutes and Ladders.
Senet was a 2 player strategy game that dates back to 3100 BC. The game was so important to King Tut, that he requested it be placed in his tomb. The objective was to have all your pieces occupy the opponent’s territory which is very similar to modern day Backgammon.
The Future of Board Games
Board games are a great way for families and friends to socialize. They will continue to change, as civilizations change. But one thing is certain, because of the popularity and entertainment; board games will always be on a family’s tabletop.