Old Board Games – A Brief History of Some Popular Games
A game is a well-structured form of play, most often undertaken for fun or entertainment, and at times used as an instructional tool. Games are very different from work, which typically is carried out primarily for remuneration, and even from literature, which is normally more of an expressive or aesthetic component. Work requires analysis, comparison, and analysis, while games are generally pure pleasure. In a work, one attains the highest degree of enjoyment when one gets the most out of his work, while in a game, one achieves satisfaction if all the efforts are well rewarded.
Games, like sports, are generally very difficult to master, but even the most skilled players can lose, because it takes a great deal of practice and training. For this reason, games have been the object of devotion from ancient times, when the stones, wood, fire, etc., were used to create an environment that was difficult to penetrate. People could then use the skills they had already learned from experience to beat each other at these games. As the skills of the ancient civilizations were passed down, from teacher to student, so did the techniques of the games. Chess, Go, Tic Tac Toe, and so on, are among the oldest games in the world, and each has its own particular strategy, its own special vocabulary, its own rules. Chess, Go, and Tic Tac Toe, for example, are games that have a particular history and set of rules, while other, simpler games like Frisbee, may be played with no more than the barest of essentials, with no need to learn complicated strategy.
But while the game of chess relies on certain intellectual ability, and a certain amount of logical ability, it relies much more on players having the right kind of ‘play’–having the right mental attitude, for instance–and using the appropriate number of tokens (the ‘pieces’) on their pieces. The physical skill required to attack another player’s pieces is part of the strategy, but so is the mental strategy involved in making up one’s mind to press that particular button or to use that particular bone in a particular bone of a piece, or to use a specific skill against an opponent. It all has to do with the kind of ‘play’ that players use against each other, and the tactics that are employed to beat an opponent. So the real essence of the board games is the strategy–and if you can learn a little bit about the basic strategy, it will make a big difference. The physical skill comes in, of course, from the various tools you need to make the board work.