One children’s toy that is often taken for granted is the board game. Played with a pre-marked space on a table or ground, often using a pre-made board, each game has specific materials that are needed in order to play. The number of board games existing is almost innumerable, and the theme or objective of each one often varies, but did you know what board games have an ancient history?
The oldest board games were found 3500 BC in both Egyptian and Jiroft civilizations. One Egyptian board game, Senet, which could be the oldest game in the world was said to have religious significance, and was buried alongside the departed because it was believed to be one of the tools needed in the afterlife. Winners of Senet were said to be blessed by the gods. Despite their religious or superstitious connections, however, these board games seemed to have been used similarly to today’s. They were used for recreational purposes between friends and family members.
Throughout the study of ancient civilizations and cultures, more and more board game were found. Backgammon, for example, is an ancient board game. Some backgammon sets were found in the Burnt City in Iran and was dated to be around 3000 BC. Early forms of chess were found in India around 500 BC, though originally went by a different name. Board games such as these were made to sharpen the mind or to develop the art of strategy.
The more board game were played, the more types were invented, the more popular they became. It is one of those toys that was carried on from the ancient world into our modern one. Because it was a toy both children and adults could play with, it created an avenue for joint play between all members of the family. Board game became such a common household object that movies were even made involving games, namely Jumanji and Zathura.
Today there are so many board games available in the market. Some are tailored to children, while others target young adults. Some board games seek to be educational, like Scrabble, Monopoly or Trivial Pursuit. These games teach children new words, how to handle money, how to run a small business, or provide new knowledge by testing how much the players know. Other board games seek to hone a talent, like Pictionary which requires drawing skills.
Though often taken for granted, board game are a unique and special children’s toy that has been able to stand the test of time and appeal to both children and adults. It is the one toy that you are sure to find a type or version which you like and will come to love.