School Holiday Board Game Bonanza

How long since you’ve played a board game? You no longer own any games or you simply don’t have time to play? Or do you think board games are just not for you? These school holidays we will have a range of board games available for you to try, for free, every day the library is open. To whet your appetite and get you thinking board games, we thought we’d share a few, not so well known facts about board games.



For thousands of years, board games have been a source of entertainment for people across the world. Evidence suggests that board games pre-date writing and in some cultures have religious significance. Although games have existed in some form throughout human history, they have only been made commercially since the 1800s. Below are examples of very early games:

Senet, is the oldest board game known to exist. Sets have been found in burial chambers dating to 3,500 B.C. (including several in Tutankhamen’s tomb). Game boards were three squares wide and ten squares long, with five to seven pieces for each player. The squares were marked with symbols representing the gods and the afterlife. It is believed the aim is to race pieces across the board, using thrown sticks as dice.

Nefertari playing Senet

Nefertari playing Senet

The Royal Game of Ur is believed to have been continuously played in some form, longer than any other game. First recorded in 2650 BC, it is believed to be the precursor to Backgammon. Found in the Royal Tombs of Ur in Iraq, the Royal Game of Ur was played with two sets, one black and one white, of seven markers and three tetrahedral dice (4-sided dice).

Royal Game of Ur

Royal Game of Ur

Go likely originated in China between 2500 and 4000 years ago (Confucius wrote about it). There are many stories surrounding the origins of Go, including that Emperor Yao invented it to enlighten his son Dan Zhu. Go has been an important part of Asian culture for centuries. Go playing nations in Asia include China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan.
Go in Korea

Tiddlywinks is  almost universally recognized around the world and one of the earliest parlor games to become a true fad in the 1890s. Joseph Assheton Fincher created Tiddlywinks and filed a patent in 1888. In 1889, he trademarked the name “Tiddledy-Winks” in England. Today Tiddlywinks is played around the world by people of all ages.

Jeu-puces a catapult version of Tiddlywinks

Jeu-puces a catapult version of Tiddlywinks

Gawler and Evanston Gardens Libraries will have a range of both traditional and modern board games available for you and your family to enjoy. Why not drop in these holidays and rediscover a few favorites or be introduced to a brand new game.



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