The history of board games in the world.

Hi all. Today I'd like to start my first article on my blog about board games. Why exactly about board games? Well firstly because I am interested in games and I think there are people on SG who like board games. This blog will be dedicated to these people as well as to those who are not yet addicted to this fascinating world of board games. But before we start talking about specific board games, I want to tell you about the very origins of this new entertainment as board games.

The history of board games goes back at least 5500 years. Modern studies of board games suggest that their history has been shared. For example, veteran board games English scholar David Parlett in his research paper "Oxford History of Board Games" believed that all, even the most modern board games have ancient prototypes and, therefore, common roots.

The most ancient of board games is considered to be the ancient Egyptian game Senet.

As a secular pastime it is known in the pre-dynastic period (about 3500 BC), in later times became associated with a trip to the other world. The first finds of Senet game sets were made in the early twentieth century. At first, the researchers thought that these pads with the figures of the ancient chess, then - checkers, but later it turned out that the game has very little in common with them.

The next one of the most ancient games is backgammon.

Backgammon is an ancient oriental game. The homeland of the game is not exactly known, but we know that people have been playing this game for over 5000 years, which has historical evidence. For example, the oldest of the backgammon boards was found in Iran (Shahri Sukht) and dates back to about 3000 years BC. The analog of this game was found in the tomb of Tutankhamen (XV BC).

The first Indian board game in today's history would be chowpar.

According to one version, chowpar appeared in the 4th century AD. However, chowpar is mentioned in the ancient Indian epic Mahabharata (and the outcome of the game affects the fate of states and their rulers). Interesting fact. Chowpar is one of the favorite games of the maharajahs. Anyone who has ever been in the palace of the Indian Emperor Akbar the Great of the Mughal dynasty can see this. A huge playing field in the middle of the yard lined with red and white marble. Once the cells of this field moved beautiful concubines of the imperial harem, which served him as living chips. Similar chowpar fields still exist in Agra and Allahabad.

If you think that mahjong is the first board game created by the Chinese, you are mistaken. The first was a game called Go.

Legends, recorded in ancient Chinese chronicles, put the appearance of Go in the third or early second millennium BC, attributing its creation to one of the legendary emperors of China or his closest court. Objective historical evidences let us assert that the game definitely existed and was quite widespread 2500 years ago - the first mentions of Go in the documents refer to these times. The first material evidence (go boards and stones found by archeologists) and reliable records of played games date back to the first centuries AD.

Well, finally there is a game that probably everyone has played checkers.

Reliable information on the invention of checkers history has not preserved. It is likely that the various games of checkers type were invented throughout history repeatedly and independently, which was facilitated by the simplicity of the inventory and rules. It is believed that the now known games of checkers type are different stages of evolution of games on the board, so that they are all related to each other in a certain sense, as evidenced by the proximity of the inventory and names of games. Thus, the names of checkers: Russian "tavlei" and Polish "warcaby" are connected with the European name of the backgammon game: tavola reale (in Italy), tables reales (in Spain), tavli (in Greece), tavla (in Turkey), tables or backgammon (in Britain), vrhcaby (in Czech Republic). The most ancient images of players in the game, defined as a variant of checkers, are found in the monuments of ancient Egypt. Peoples who inhabited the territory of today's Russia and adjacent regions, checkers were known even in the III century. History of the appearance of a checkers is very great, so I will not describe it all now.

And here is a board game from Korea called changi.

Changi reads as a derivative of the Chinese game of xiangqi. It is played on an almost similar board, the same set of pieces, but has slightly different rules.

The first Japanese game in our history would be the board game shogi.

According to modern historians, shogi is a separate branch of chess. It is unknown exactly when this game appeared, or its original version, but, apparently, in the second half of the first millennium BC spread in the Arab East shatranj got to Southeast Asia, where it became the basis for a number of local board games, among which the most famous Chinese chess syantsi, related to them the Korean chess changi, as well as Thai chess Makruk, much more than the first two games resemble shatranj and European chess. Apparently, from these games, in turn, shogi originated.

And another game you probably played, and in my yard grandfathers still gather and play dominoes every night.

The roots of the game of dominoes go back to India and China, it was there that the dice in the form of plates appeared. Dots on the dice in Chinese dominoes multicolored (white and red), in a set there are no blanks. In the 18th century, the game was brought to Italy and modified. Modern dominoes are also closely related to the game of dice. The two halves of the domino knuckle is one of the possible combinations that fall when you roll two dice. It is believed that the dominoes were named after the black and white masquerade costumes, which, in turn, came from the attire of the Dominican monks, who wore white cloaks with black hoods. Monks were forbidden to play cards, and then, according to legend, Abbot Domino invented dominoes. It is certain that playing dominoes was allowed in Catholic monasteries, and there, as a rule, any business began with "praising the Lord" (lat. benedicamus Domino or Domino gracias) - these words were uttered by the player who put up the first stone.

We can also talk about the so-called Polish a checkers.

In 1723 an English draughtsman of Polish origin, who remained in the history under the nickname "Pole", offered to increase the checkerboard up to 100 cells and slightly change the rules of the game - there appeared a hundred-square (Polish) a checkers. The wide dissemination and lack of differences in the rules of the game made this variant of a checkers international.

Well we finally got to the most famous Chinese board game mahjong.

According to one theory, the creators of the game were officers of the Chinese army, who served during the Taiping Rebellion and invented the game to pass the time, according to another, the game was created by a certain nobleman who lived in the outskirts of Shanghai between 1870 and 1875. Distribution of the game at first was quite limited until the early 20th century it was played only in the lower reaches of the Yangtze and the outskirts of Beijing, but then there was a sudden jump in popularity: in the first two decades of the XX century the game spread throughout China and spread to neighboring countries. By the 1920s, mahjong was already considered a national game and an integral part of Chinese culture, and was known not only in Asia, but also in America and Europe. There is also no consensus about the origin of the game's name. The original name is translated as "sparrow. According to one version, the clatter of chips resembles the chirping of a sparrow. Some researchers link the name with the fact that in China the sparrow symbolizes intelligence, or look for other parallels in culture and mythology.

The first English board game in my article can be considered to be Reversi.

The game was invented in Britain in 1880 and was very popular, but has since been forgotten. Revived it in Japan, where in 1971 it became popular again under the name otello. Since 1977, regularly held world championships on the game of reversi.

And then finally there is a game that, compared to the others, came out relatively recently-"Monopoly.

In 1934, in the midst of the Great Depression, Charles Darrow of Germantown, Pennsylvania, showed the representatives of Parker Brothers a draft of the game Monopoly. The project was rejected because of "52 errors in design," but that didn't stop the unemployed Charles, who decided to release the game on his own.

With the help of a friend, Charles Darrow made and sold 5,000 homemade copies of Monopoly in a Philadelphia department store. After a while he could no longer cope with the increased demand, and decided to turn again to representatives of Parker Brothers. Monopoly went down in history - already in 1935 it became the best selling game in America. Today, the number of people who play Monopoly has exceeded half a billion. There are commercial competitions (including world championships) on the game of Monopoly with substantial prizes.

Another game created during the Great Depression is Scrabble.

Its story began in the thirties of last century in the United States. It was then that an unemployed architect Alfred Mosher Butts decided to create his own board game, and in 1938 he embodied his idea.

Another world-famous game called Risk.

The game was invented by French filmmaker Albert Lamorossi and released in France in 1957 under the title La Conquête du Monde (French for "conquest of the world").

And here is the first collectible card game-Magic: The Gathering. We don't have enough information about the other card games in this article, so some other time.

Invented by the American mathematician Richard Garfield in 1991. It was originally called Mana Clash. The publishing rights were bought from the author by Wizards of the Coast, who released the first commercial edition on August 5, 1993. The first fans of the new game were RPG enthusiasts. Over time, it won the hearts of strategy fans. In the mid-nineties there was a worldwide boom in collectible card games. Many of them did not stand out from the masses of their kind and are now forgotten. Magic" survived to this day due to high-quality development, balance, and competent marketing.

And the last game in today's article, Colonizers.

The creator of this board game is the famous German board game developer Klaus Teuber. First published in 1995 in Germany by Franckh-Kosmos Verlags-GmbH & Co. (Kosmos).


Well today we have a little dip into the history of the first board games and world-famous board games. As I'm sure you may have noticed I've been skipping over descriptions of gameplay and everything else, but that's just history. I'll be doing reviews, but not of these games (unless you ask me to, of course), but of these...

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