Among the earliest board games we can list chess, go, and mahjong. Games were originally very practical mechanisms used in military and tactical training. From training it didn't take long for board games to turn into a form of friendly competition. Chess became a novelty sport and a test of wits. The aristocratic class saw it as a privileged know-how as one would dancing or etiquette. It seems as though games reigned long in the age of practicality but once they made the jump to entertainment something changed. Board games would most definitely have developed faster and sooner, except for the fact that they were not able to be manufactured on a large-scale. Finding an old chess set today may not seem like a big deal, but when you consider that once that set and all of its individual pieces had to be hand-carved it comes as no surprise.
The Industrial Revolution
The industrial revolution changed a lot of things and board games was definitely on the list. The classic games that had previously only been available to the upper-class became commonplace. The game of chess made a resurgence to the kind of game it was destined to be: one of the first mass-produced strategic battlegrounds. It's hard to pin point what it is about this game that is so appealing but it has somehow spanned the ages. Even though chess was now free to be published on a broad scale, other games began to threaten its bearing. It seems as though not long after games began coming out of the woodwork that had entertainment rather than practicality on the mind. Board games such as monopoly and battleship were scarcely, if at all, concerned with strategy. In fact, this age of games seems to lack any idea of the word. This age gave rise to a strange theme of lucky games that appealed to the theme of the game. Who wouldn't want to get out of the idea of every-day life an play Monopoly? In this game you buy and trade properties like your boss probably does. You have to worry much less about property taxes and a lot more about where you are going to build your next big hotel or high-rise. Battleship, meanwhile, takes you onto the battlefield as you shoot at enemy aircraft carriers. You can see the direct appeal and cunning advertising of these games. No wonder they became popular beyond belief. We can tell a lot about this age by the games that were produced at the time, but what can we say of today by the type of games that we play?
Modern gaming seems to combine the best of both worlds as we can see how elements of all ages have been mixed. The games that appeal to the wealthy and the learned exist as well as the classics that appeal to the break from reality. Mass Multiplayer online Games rule the internet and give the ultimate break from reality as small and simplified gaming is available for the less-intense and more hands-on gamers. I remember there was a day when I thought that no matter the technology that was produced, everyone would still want either a DVD or VHS to put into their television. As a mark of ownership it just seemed like something you had to have. Now I consider it a pain and a nuisance and I long for the day when a company makes it easily accessible to have your entire collection on a flash drive. Will board games be phased out for what is available electronically. The evolution doesn't seem to be stopping anytime soon.