Law Office of Kevin Jensen - August 2018


3740 E. Southern Ave., #210 Mesa, AZ 85206

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Game Night Goes (Really) Retro The Oldest Games You Can Play Today


People love to play games. When you play Angry Birds while waiting in line at the grocery store, you are actually participating in a long history of gaming that dates back to the earliest civilizations. Through the discovery of ancient game boards, archaeologists learned that the ancient Egyptians played a game called Senet in 3500 B.C. The rules were lost to time, but fortunately, there are plenty of other ancient games we still have the rules for! Sometime during the 2nd century A.D., people in India started playing a board game associated with aspects of traditional Hindu philosophy — namely, the contrast between karma (destiny) and kama (desire). A dice was rolled to navigate a game board where good virtues, represented by ladders, allowed players to move up on the board, and evil Snakes and Ladders

vices, represented by snakes, would drag pieces back down. The phrase “Back to square one” is believed to have originated from this game. Snakes and Ladders made its way to England before being brought over to the United States, where it was introduced as “Chutes and Ladders” by none other than Milton Bradley in 1943. A blend of luck and strategy, backgammon originated in the Middle East around 5,000 years ago. Possibly an evolution of the ancient Mesopotamian game, the Royal Game of Ur, backgammon has players take turns rolling the dice to move their pieces off the board while trying to outsmart their opponent. Backgammon grew in popularity, spreading from the Middle East to the rest of the ancient world, and is still played by many today. Backgammon

Originating in China around the 5th century B.C., Go — or “weiqi,” as it’s called in China — focuses on the virtues of balance, discipline, and focus. Two players go head- to-head, placing their pieces on the board to claim as much territory as possible while simultaneously capturing their opponent’s pieces. Go is likely the oldest board game still being played today, with an estimated 40 million players worldwide. Though the rules are simple, the strategies take a lifetime to master. These are a just a few games that people have been playing around the world for centuries. If you’re ready to add something new to family game night, try something old instead!


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