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Painting ‘The Chess Players’ by Liberale da Verona.   Source: Public domain

The Evolution of Board Games: From Royal Pastimes to Global Phenomena

In the dynamic tapestry of human leisure and recreation, board games have carved an enduring niche, evolving through millennia from ancient pastimes to modern phenomena. This article embarks on a...
Detail from a Monopoly board. Source: Rich Brooks / CC BY 2.0

Monopoly Was Originally a Teaching Tool Exposing Economic Inequality

These days, Monopoly is a childhood staple, as kids worldwide learn to buy properties and then push friends into bankruptcy by charging exorbitant rent in order to emerge victorious. It’s the...
Backgammon as depicted from the 14th century Codex Manesse. Source: Public domain

The 5,000-Year-Old Ancient History of Backgammon

Despite its modern popularity, not many know that backgammon is actually one of the oldest board games known to man. The story of backgammon stretches back 5,000 years and around the globe, spanning...
The oldest board game in the world, the Royal Game of Ur.   Source: Shriram Rajagopalan / CC BY 2.0

Play the Oldest Board Game in the World: Royal Game of Ur - Part 2

In the first part of this article, we attempted to unravel the mystery symbolism on the oldest board game in the world - the Royal Game of Ur. The Heliopolitan creation myth was used to explain how...
The Royal Game of Ur board (or Game of Twenty Squares), found in the Royal Tombs of Ur in Mesopotamia, dating c. 2600-2400 B.C. Source: The Trustees of British Museum / Provided by the author

Deciphering the Patterns of the Royal Game of Ur Board - Part 1

The world’s first known board game was found in Mesopotamia (c. 2600 BC). Despite this, Egyptian beliefs help us best to understand the Royal Game of Ur’s board design, rules and all. Especially the...
IMAGE Upload an image to go with this article. Show row weights FILE INFORMATION	OPERATIONS   Image icon Egyptian-Game-of-death.jpg (113.35 KB) Alternate text Depiction of an ancient Egyptian queen playing senet (‘game of death’) from Nefertari's burial chamber, wife of Ramses II.      Source: Public domain This text will be used by screen readers, search engines, or when the image cannot be loaded.   Image icon game-of-death.jpg (100.58 KB) Alternate text This text will be used by screen readers, search en

Enigmatic Evolution of Ancient Egypt’s ‘Game of Death’ Revealed

An ancient Egyptian board game that was similar to Ludo or backgammon is offering new insights into ancient religious beliefs. It was not only a game, but it was seen as a way for the dead to...
Pattern of holes carved into ancient shelter in Azerbaijan are the remains of one of the world’s oldest games.

Holes Found Carved in Ancient Rock Shelter in Azerbaijan Belong to One of World’s Oldest Games

A major discovery has just been made in Gobustan, Azerbaijan - a rock carving of a game board that is believed to be one of the oldest that has ever been found. Dating back around 4000 years, the...
The Viking gaming board which has been found in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

The Search for a Lost Scottish Monastery Reveals a Rare Viking Gaming Board

While you search intently for something, you may chance upon another rare discovery, one which deserves just as much attention. This is what has happened to an archaeologist and her team looking for...
Trailer for Ouija Movie. (BagoGames/CC BY 2.0) Insert: Ouija board on your skull: noe valley, san francisco (2015).

Talking Boards: Terrifying Tales of Ouija Boards and Demons, Possession, and Death

Ouija boards, also known as talking boards or spirit boards, are a relatively modern tool/game that strikes fear and wonder in the hearts of many people. Almost everyone has heard stories of someone...
Fun for Everyone: The Evolving History of Board Games

Fun for Everyone: The Evolving History of Board Games

The delightful hobby of playing games isn't a modern invention. While people in ancient times didn't have Pokemon Go to entertain themselves, they still spent hours of fun games both inside and...
Tracing the Origins of the Infamous Ouija Board

Tracing the Origins of the Infamous Ouija Board

The Ouija board (known also as a Spirit board or Talking board) is a type of board commonly believed to enable its users to communicate with the spirit world. A Ouija board usually has the letters of...