hist-games: Snakes and Ladders documentary

M Winther mwi9 at swipnet.se
Tue Jul 10 23:01:24 PDT 2012

You could also try at the following locations and their adherent 
discussions groups, if applicable.




I am more and more inclined to think that board games have played a 
significant role in the development of ego consciousness. In a period 
of our history, in certain Stone age and Bronze Age cultures, people 
seem to have been obsessed with board games. Almost every tenth 
artifact found at Mohenjo-daro is game related. I have argued that the 
structure of board games depict the collective progress in 
consciousness, and that it is, essentially, an image of psychic 

Board games have the capacity to focus consciousness. They can 
strengthen conscious directionality. The noble men in Aztec 
civilization could often be seen carrying around a Patolli board game, 
much similar to Pachisi and Ludo. They seem to have been almost 
obsessed weith it, as a hazard game. Circulation around a center 
('circumabulatio') is an archetypal motif which, according to Jungian 
psychology, signifies the progression of consciousness and the 
successive approximation of the personality to the 'Self'. These games 
had special squares, possibly with a similar significance as the 
ladder and snake squares of the Indian game of dice. The snake is a 
regressive force which makes you slide back to an earlier phase in the 

Chess is today employed as a means of strengthening the concentrative 
effort in school children.

It turns out that it improves the childrens' results in other school 
subjects, too. They learn to focus their minds. Chess gives you an 
immeditate award if you concentrate and make an effort to calculate 
the future. In most school subjects, the reward isn't immediate, and 
it isn't obvious why the children should learn mathematics, etc.

That's why I think that board games could have had a significant role 
in the evolution of ego consciousness. The inhabitants in early 
civilizations learnt that it is worth while to really make an effort 
and think ahead.  As soon as you have gotten used to focusing your 
attention, you are in the habit of doing this in other contexts as 
well. Arguably, board gaming can establish a higher level of 
consciousness in that the ego fixes itself at a higher energetic 

A game like snake and ladders also has psychological effects in that 
it is necessary to maintain composure in face of fortune and bad luck.

Mats Winther

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Aditya Dash" <dashaditya at gmail.com>
To: <hist-games at www.pbm.com>
Sent: Monday, July 09, 2012 1:48 PM
Subject: hist-games: Snakes and Ladders documentary

> Hello everyone: we are making a documentary on the game Snakes and
> Ladders,
> we are currently looking for researchers who can give us more
> information
> about the game and if possible even feature in this documentary. The
> basic
> outline of the documentary is given below:
> Act 1: Brief overview and history of the game. Include the religious
> significance of such a game.
> Act 2: filming a workshop with children expalining the rules and
> meaning of
> the game Snakes and Ladders.
> Act 3: The game in contemporary india/times, how it has been used
> worldwide
> in advocating various messages from Water Conservation to Research
> Methods.
> We are based in Odisha and ideally our shooting locations will be
> Odisha
> (India) so that the production costs remain low. I hope to get
> responses
> from these mailing lists. Thank you.
> Aditya Dash and Manav Jalan
> www.gaurangfilms.com


> _______________________________________________
> hist-games mailing list
> hist-games at www.pbm.com
> http://www.pbm.com/mailman/listinfo/hist-games

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