hist-games: New list member / some questions

Huette von Ahrens ahrenshav at yahoo.com
Wed Jul 19 19:34:10 PDT 2006



--- "Burke, Robin" <rburke at cti.depaul.edu> wrote:

> 
> Greetings,
> 
> I'm new to the list, so I'll introduce myself. My name is Robin Burke.
> I'm a professor at DePaul University (computer science, actually). I
> teach computer game design and development usually, but this fall,
> through an unlikely chain of circumstances, I find myself teaching an
> undergraduate course on the history of games. 
> 
> The course is using case study format, with the idea being to use
> particular games to illuminate historical moments, using games
> themselves as historical sources. I plan to use 4 such games / moments
> of which three are pretty certain:
> 
> * senet (ancient egypt, probably new kingdom, but of course the game is
> played for centuries before and after)
> * chess (medieval rules, before the "mad queen" comes along.)
> * "the checkered game of life" (great comparison to the later milton
> bradley games)
> 
> The fourth is presenting something of a problem for me. I need something
> non-Western, preferably Asian. I would like a game that is not a classic
> strategy game like any of Asian chess variants or Aware. It must be
> something that students can play in class, so no camel racing or tiger
> hunting. :-)
> 

I presume you don't want to go with Go?  There are a lot of historical writings on Go.

How about sugoroku?  It is a Japanese form of backgammon...

http://www.ahs.uwaterloo.ca/~museum/Archives/Culin/Dice1893/sugoroku.html

But finding game boards probably will be dicey...

Other than Go, Shiang-chi and such, the Asian boards are going to be hard to find.

Another ancient Asian game, South East Asian to be precise, would be Pachisi, which may 
go back to 4th century India.  Easy to find cheap boards...  Or Snakes and Ladders, apparently
adapted from the ancient Indian game "Dasapada", dating back to the 2nd century B.C., although
there is some dispute about that.

A game from Korea is Nyout, which goes back to 300AD.  It is a race game, but I am not
sure how easy it is to find boards...

Or leave Asia and go to Africa and go with Wari or Mancala.  Very old.  Easy to find boards.
Played all over the world. Goes back to Ancient Egypt also, may even be older than Senat.

Huette



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