People sometimes talk about gaming as if it is some new invention that has been born in the smartphone age. Of course, that is nonsense and people have been playing games since time immemorial. Games like senet and mancala have histories that go back thousands of years, and there are card games that were played in the halls of Versailles prior to the French Revolution that is still popular today.
In fact, it could be argued that technology has helped to bring some classic games to a whole new audience, as the following examples demonstrate.
Everyone knows the basics of chess, and it is a game that can trace its roots back to the seventh century. The nature of chess has always lent itself to computer programming, as while there are millions of possible moves, their number is finite due to the constraints of the 8×8 board.
In the latter part of the 20th century, we were wowed by computers like Deep Blue that could take on grandmaster chess players and win. These days, we are accustomed to computers being smarter than us, but technology is more likely to be used to facilitate chess games with friends and loved ones across the miles. There are literally dozens of chess apps to play against friends, strangers or even a dumbed-down version of Deep Blue!
Back in the late 1600s, mathematician and inventor Blaise Pascal was trying to unlock the secret of perpetual motion. Needless to say, he never unraveled that particular mystery, but he inadvertently invented what would swiftly turn into the roulette wheel, the most iconic symbol of the casino.
So if you love roulette, can you play on your phone? The answer is a resounding yes. The majority of online casino platforms these days are optimized for mobile, as that is the way most people get online in the 2020s. You’ll find plenty of games, including live tables where you can interact with a real croupier via webchat as the game progresses.
We all had our favorite board games as kids, which would come out at Christmas or during rainy days during the school holidays. The one game that every household seemed to have was Monopoly.
Now board games are a harder sell for today’s kids, but we can still share the joy of Monopoly with them thanks to the official mobile game from Hasbro. Or we can simply play it with our friends and relive our own childhoods. The latest version has an excellent group chat function, so no matter how far apart we are, it’s possible to recapture that sense of sitting around the kitchen table with the rain falling outside.
Often touted as the “world’s oldest board game,” backgammon actually goes back only 500 years or so. However, it was inspired by other games that had been played for centuries before.
A little like chess, backgammon strategy was a popular obsession for computer pioneers. Today, there are almost as many backgammon apps as there are chess apps. If you’ve not given backgammon a try, do so – the comparisons with chess are obvious, but the strategy is not so deep and games are shorter and easier to fit into a single session.