Despite the preference of many of today’s game-playing enthusiasts to play video games, social media games and online cash slots for real money, history’s best-loved games continue to be popular choices. Within the past few years board games have gone through an explosion of growth.
Many people find playing on a physical board to be more relaxing than playing on a screen. Others simply play the old time board games on their PCs or mobile devices as an answer for a need to relax or find a way to interact with friends or family.
How did those classic games span the centuries? What about them has given them the longevity that gives us the opportunity to play the same games that our ancestors enjoyed many years ago?
Come on a journey to explore and search out these classic games’ histories.
In the 19th century the idea of educational play became popular, and more and more publishers realized the value of promoting learning through games such as crossword puzzle pages, anagrams clue solution, unknown letters games and the search for answers to fun, related clues.
Book publishers had the necessary skills to design beautifully illustrated crossword puzzle books and other solution searching word games and board games, to entertain, educate and answer a need for stimulating relaxation . These word games, puzzles and clue based play could take many forms, from instructional jigsaws and crossword answers, to complex games with related clues and possible answers about history and geography .
As the 20th century progressed, parlor games diversified from boards and word games to other forms, often incorporating interactive elements and clue search, suitable for the whole family or social gathering of friends to play, much of which was free to enjoy.
Checkers is a popular game in almost every region of the world. For many children, it’s the first game they learn how to play. Playing checkers is a good way to develop processes of thought and logic.
Excavations of a 3000-year-old city called “Ur” in Iraq – the city that is believed to be Abraham the Patriarch’s home – have revealed remains of a game that resembles checkers.
Another similar game called “Alquerque” was played in ancient Egypt even earlier and continued to be played throughout the ancient world.
Whether today’s checkers derived from the ancient games or developed independently is unknown but in the 12th century CE a checkers-like game called “Fierges” or “Ferses” became popular in France. Europe and the United States continued to play the game on a chess board of 64 spaces but in Asia, checkers players have become accustomed to a 100-space board.
Here's an fun and interesting curios. Did you know that one of the most recent clues in need of possible crossword answers was the "checkers players demand" crossword clue? The interest and search for the conceivable crossword answers to the obscure checker's players demand clue, amazed crossword solver solution seekers. The buzz across numerous crossword online pages and page search was immense. The 6 unknown letters clue caused a furor, with multiple possible crossword answers, related clues and suggestions from crossword puzzle enthusiasts causing an online sensation.
The best possible answer to the checkers demand clue was KINGME. This is a reference in the game of checkers where a player moves a piece to the last row on the enemies side of the board and gets to elevate the rank of his piece by stacking another piece on top of it. The volume of the search for "checkers player's demand" crossword clues was unprecedented and just reflects the amazing popularity of checkers and the crossword puzzle, even today.
There are early forms of chess that emerged in the 6th century CE in India but the game, known as “chaturanga” started to become standardized in the 8th century.
Over the centuries it was changed, first by the Arabs, then the Persians and finally by the Europeans who changed the names and appearances of the chess pieces so that they would resemble the English court and military prowess.
Originally the game was played by up to four players and the theme of the game was “war. The ultimate goal, of capturing the opponent’s king, remains the same. Players who search for a game of smart strategy enjoy the challenges that Chess brings. It is more than a game for many, but in many ways a lifestyle.
Some game historians date poker to a 16th century Persian card game “As Nas” while others believe that it derives from a domino-card game that was played in 10th century China. At some point, the game moved to Europe where it was called “Poque” in France, “Pochen” in Germany and “Primero” in Spain.
Early versions of the game featured three cards dealt to each player. Bluffing was a key part of the game. The game was a favorite of European royalty and high society which incorporated it into the new European casinos of the 18th and 19th centuries.
Although casino-goers placed wagers on the game it got its reputation as a gambling game when French colonists introduced it to their North American settlements where players often accompanied the games with heavy drinking and carousing.
English-speaking settlers in the West anglicized “poque” to “poker”. Slowly, the game evolved to the poker that we know today including the basic 52-card deck five-card draw, five-card stud and their variants. Soldiers played poker throughout the Civil War and then popularized it as they moved around the country after the war.
Today the most popular variation of poker is Texas Hold ‘Em – it’s the World Series of Poker’s featured game and can be played on live tables, tournaments or via online Poker site pages and free website poker games.
Scrabble is one of the most iconic word board games of all times. It can be played on multiple levels, adds enough elements of luck to keep players on their toes (the question of which letter tiles you’ll get) and demands gamer skill in the form of word-building creativity and competence.
The game of Scrabble was invented during the Great Depression in 1933 by a out-of-work architect named Alfred Mosher Butts. His effort to combine elements of the classic crossword puzzle and anagrams into a scoring word game was first named “Lexiko” and then “Criss Cross Words”. One of Butts’ biggest challenges was to determine the correct letter distribution – how many “E” tiles to include, how many “M”s, etc.
Game companies turned Butts away but by 1948, with the help of entrepreneur James Brunot, production began. The original production team stamped known letters on wooden tiles one at a time by hand and sold a modest amount but when the president of Macy’s discovered the word game while on vacation, he began to sell them at his store and demand started to rise.
Today the SCRABBLE word game is found in three of every five American homes. This game is too popular as website play on social media such as Facebook and other page
The game of Monopoly is based on “The Landlord’s Game” which was designed and patented in 1904 by Lizzie G. Magie who wanted a game that would emphasize her views on economic privilege and land value.
During the Great Depression Charles B. Darrow drew upon her model and other similar early games to create a board game that would have mass appeal. He sold it to Parker Brothers who mass-produced the game.
They used properties named for streets in Atlantic City in America, London streets for sets sold in England, etc. Many sets today have prominent points of interest and local landmarks as properties based on the region in which they are sold.
Free Games Throughout the Years
There are so many possible answers as to why the longevity of certain games has survived through the ages. Games of Chess or Checkers never lose their appeal and today Poker can be played in both live tournaments or on an online site.
The clue may be in their smart mix of social interaction, competitive spirit and thought based strategy.