Time wasting without killing electrons
October 5, 2005 9:39 AM   Subscribe

The Online Guide to Traditional games has a short history with pictures of many games that were in existence prior to 1900 and are still played today. Some, like Mancala, much prior to 1900. Also collected by the same author are the rules for many of the games.
posted by Mitheral (9 comments total)
This is cool. It is interesting to see how many different things folks have come up with to amuse themselves over the years.
posted by sciurus at 10:31 AM on October 5, 2005

Very nice, it was fun to see Snakes and Ladders there, and to read about it being a kind of morality play. I knew there was a reason I never liked it as a kid.
posted by OmieWise at 10:39 AM on October 5, 2005

All over the Crusader castles that were taken over by arab armies after their defeat (so I'm not sure which culture left them) in the places where soldiers would have been stationed on watch (high up in tower battlements, etc) there are carved game boards for the game we now call Mancala.
posted by Pollomacho at 10:48 AM on October 5, 2005

My newest freetime pursuit is learning to play Go. The abstract nature of the game, and the depth of the strategy involved, make it as much a study in philosophy as much as a battle of wits.

Plus, there's a cool anime about it! Take that, chess!
posted by ToasT at 11:05 AM on October 5, 2005

OmieWise writes "Snakes and Ladders"

Snakes and ladders is what originally drew me to the site, an hour of side tracking later was time well spent.
posted by Mitheral at 11:06 AM on October 5, 2005

There's an excellent lawn game the author missed: Kubb! (That's pronounced "koob.") The rules are easy to learn, and it basically involves throwing clubs underhand at blocks.

You can put together your own set inexpensively by sawing up a few 4x4s and buying a bunch of fish clubs. (Available at your local Menards or Fleet Farm. I tried to find a picture or something from the internet, but no dice. Think of a narrow club, maybe a foot long and 2 1/2 inches around at its fattest point.)

Everyone can play and it's leisurely enough that you can drink beer at the same time!
posted by Scooter at 11:47 AM on October 5, 2005

Kubb may be to physical and to new to meet the author's criteria for inclusion but you may want to suggest it to him (jm at tradgames.org.uk).
posted by Mitheral at 12:39 PM on October 5, 2005

"Traditional games"... you mean like Pong and Nethack?
posted by clevershark at 3:43 PM on October 5, 2005

No, he's meaning stuff that's been around for over a century and is still played today. I doubt pong will still be around in 75 years but probably there will be people delving the depths of an ascii dungeon on holographic displays in the year 2100. And a significant portion of them still won't be able to ascend.
posted by Mitheral at 8:21 AM on October 6, 2005

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