Board games are enjoyed by kids and adults alike. Playing brain-teasing board games is a fun way to spend the leisure time. Such games generally consist of a pre-marked surface called the “board”, on which certain pieces are placed. The game is played by moving the pieces across the board. Some of the most popular board games are scrabble, checkers, chess, backgammon, trivia pursuit and monopoly. In this article, we have given interesting information on the history, origin and background of board games.
Interesting Information On Origin & Background Of Board Games
Games like chess, checkers, backgammon and dominos are very popular amongst Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, who have been playing them for thousands of years. The Egyptians used mud gaming boards to play the games in 3000 BC. The discovery of a number of old board games has been recorded in the history. One such instance is the remains of a game board, dice and playing pieces, found among the artifacts discovered from the tomb of Egyptian King Tut, in the 1920s.
Flat sticks, marked with numbers, were used before the invention of dice. According to historical records, the dice was invented by the Palamedes of Greece in about 1400BC. Initially, dice was not shaped in the form of a cube. Rather, the use of ten-sided stone dice in Egypt, in about 250 BC, has been recorded. Another such discovery is that of a tubular dice, carved out of ivory, which carried marks of the numbers one, two and three on their sides. Some dice even carried symbols or colors instead of numbers.
Board games arrived in the Great Britain when Romans went there in 43 AD. Romans included the country into their empire and ruled it for the next 400 years. During the reign of the Roman Empire in Britain, a game called “Tabula” was popularized, which closely resembles the modern day “Backgammon”. After Romans left the nation, Britain was invaded by Anglo-Saxons from Germany, Vikings from Scandinavia and the Normans from France. A board game named “Hnefatafl” was introduced by Vikings, in 400 AD.
The popular game “Draughts” was invented in the southern part of France, in 1100 AD. The pieces used in “Backgammon” were also used to play “Draught”, on a chequered chess board. In London, during the period from 1133 AD to 1300 AD, the common masses played board games by sitting under the trees located in the premises of Pirory Churchyard, in Smithfields. On the other hand, the Lords and courtiers enjoyed playing chess in their castles. Before toy shops were set up in the nation, in 1720, the peddlers used to sell board games at local fairs and markets.
“The Mansion of Happiness”, the first board game introduced in the United States, was created in 1843 by W & SB Ives Company. Improvement in the printing, production and distribution techniques led to the popularization of board games. Over the years, the sale of board games turned out to be a big business. People, at that time, spent their leisure time in playing the games. The game “Halma” came into existence in England in 1854. The Indian game “Pachisi” was introduced in England in 1896, where it was named as “Ludo”.
With the advent of 20th century, travel games like “Around the World” and “Game of Round the World with Nellie Bly” gained popularity. One of the most popular board games “Monopoly” was introduced in the United States in 1935. The arrival of television sets diminished the popularity of board games. People watched shows on television during their leisure time, which was previously used for playing board games. As a result, companies started making board games based on popular TV shows. One such game is “Hopalong Cassidy”, created by Milton Bradley.
Video games became popular in the 1970s and 1980s and seemed to replace board games. Many people thought that board games would fade away, until the arrival of “Trivia Pursuit”. The highly challenging game changed the perception of people and board games made a comeback. In the 1990s, several brain-teasing games were introduced, which includes “TriBond” and “Taboo”. Over the years, board games have gained popularity across the globe. Irrespective of other entertainment means, like TV and video games, they continue to be well-liked.