Board Games

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It starts with Candy Land. At the age of 3, you might get hooked on moving your gingerbread man around the Gumdrop Mountains and through the Molasses Swamp. Soon you advance to Chutes and Ladders and Parcheesi. Then comes the day you discover Monopoly.

Even at a time when kids develop super-strong thumbs playing computer games, old-fashioned board games still have their players 4 to adult. The International Council of Toy Industries says twelve per cent of the toys sold worldwide are games and puzzles. And though the packaging may be new, most of these games have long, long histories.

They’re a window to how we feel about right and wrong, winning and losing. The games we play and the stories that they tell about us, stories not always as sweet as Candy Land.


Irving Finkel, Assistant Keeper, Department of the Ancient Near East, the British Museum

Margaret Hofer, curator, “The Games We Played”, New-York Historical Society.