Monday, July 26, 2010

Games, A Then and Now Musing

So today, as I was looking through my friend Tony's copy of, "The Complete Anachronist #71: Period Pastimes: Being a Timeline of Games with Instructions and Commentary on Selected Games Played in Medieval Europe" by Patrick J. Smith, I came across a card game that dates back to the early 15th century: Ranter-Go-Round. At the time, I was looking through the card games to see if there are any others (like Poch) that can be played with a game board, so I was really only perusing.

But as my eyes ran over the description of this game, I stopped. Took my eyes back up to the top and read all about Ranter-Go-Round, getting more and more excited as I went. See, I KNEW this game. I was introduced to it 10 years ago when I went with my husband to the first Coots Family Reunion (My mother in law, her brothers and all of their families get together every year in various travel spots around the US). Of course, we know it as Shit on Your Neighbor.

But it got me thinking-- I've come across several games that as I look at them, I know we're still playing them.

Some of them have different names:

Snakes and Ladders = Moksha Patamu
Tic-Tac-Toe = Draughts and Crosses
Checkers = Draughts or Morris
Connect Four = Five in a Row
Backgammon = Nards

Others, surprisingly, have the -same- name:

Chess
Go
Shut the Box
Kungser
Nyout
Pachisi
Seega
Alquerque
Fanorona
Mancala/ Wari

But it's more than just board games. We still play tag. And Hide and Seek. And marbles, and Jacks, and Pick up sticks, jump rope, bocce, bowling, badmitten, croquet, hopscotch -- even if the names aren't the same, the GAMES are!

And considering that some of these are thousands of years old

--I figure that's pretty impressive!

Now, who wants to play Ranter-Go-Round?

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