Board Games have been with humans longer than art and longer than language. We imagine that primitive man was dull-witted, but I can guarantee you that one of your early ancestors could have beaten you at a game of mancala.
One of my favorite historic references to board games was Hippocrate’s account of the ancient Lydians. The Lydians encountered a famine that rocked their civilization. To prolong their resources, they would only eat every other day. On days they went without food, they would play games.
They went on like this for 7 years, until they decided that to survive they would send half their population to a new land, while the other half could live on the remaining resources. They played one final game to decide who would stay and who would go. Some scholars believe that the exodus of the Lydians corresponds with the founding of the Roman Empire.
So games are the direct result of one of the most influential empires the world has ever seen, and we still see games as an integral part of our social fiber. Games are in our art, our culture, and in the stories we tell one another, and next month I begin a board game exploration. Join me on my journey by sharing any good board game stories you know! See you next month!