Thursday, November 7, 2013

A gaming historian....

Well here's a job I'd love to do!  This British museum curator studies the history of board games:
This pattern of what Finkel calls "spread and evolution and decline and rescue and unstoppability" is at the heart of what fascinates him about board games. Intermittently, governments have tried to curb them: China outlawed mahjong during the Cultural Revolution, and the Taliban threatened chess players with execution. But games defy control, mutating and leaping boundaries with an inexorable life of their own. Pachisi, says Finkel, was played in India for centuries, jumped to Britain by 1875 and was repackaged there as ludo, which was exported back to India around the 1960s: "Nowadays, Indian children play ludo completely oblivious to the fact that it is a monstrous decomposition of their own fantastic board game."
My only objection is Irving Finkel's comment on his favourite game Monopoly that "the idea of renting out a square was the last 'momentous' innovation in board games."  Right.  This article was from 2008 so I hope he's done a bit more research since then....

(Thanks for the tip, Matt!)