Did you know that the earliest known board game dates back more than 4500 years? Moreover, the longest Monopoly game lasted for weeks. There are many mind-blowing facts about board games. That’s why in today’s article, we are going to look at some intriguing board game facts. If we are able to quench your thirst for curiosity, then consider sharing it with your friends too.
I remember as a kid when there was no internet, no computers, or advanced mobile devices. The best way to have fun with friends and pastime was board games. Do you remember your first board game?
Well, I do; I loved Monopoly, Game of Life, Battleship, Chess, and many more. I think this article is going to be another nostalgic roller coaster ride. What’s more — I’m also going to blow your mind with some amazing facts.
Back then, we had a lot of time to sit together and enjoy these classic board games. However, the fast-changing world has changed a lot of things. The bitter truth is that we don’t have that much time to sit together with friends and relive those golden days. Nonetheless, before we dive into the facts, let’s look at the…
History of Board Games
If we want to know about the rise of board games, then we have to travel 5000 years in time. So here we are in Egypt, which is also considered the earliest known board game. The name of the game was Senet which was played by the royals and the wealthy people. Archaeologists came to know of this game from ancient texts.
The game was also popular in ancient Mesopotamia. It consisted of multiple pieces of different shapes and sizes, and their movements were determined by rolling a dice.
Now let’s travel to ancient China when games like Go and Xiangqi (Chinese chess) was developed. Even today, these games are being played, and they are renowned for their complexity and difficulty. Interestingly, they are considered some of the most challenging board games.
In the middle ages, Chess came into existence in the 6th Century in India. I’m certain that you’ve played chess at least once in your life. Initially, it was a game exclusively played by the wealthy and royal. However, it soon became a popular pastime for the general public, and board games gained widespread popularity.
Today, you can play any board game from your mobile device. So that was history; now, let’s take a look at some facts that created history.
Chess’s Alternating White and Black Color Scheme
Well, the chess board that we see today is not how it used to be in the beginning. The alternating black and white pattern that we see today was first introduced in Europe in 1090. When chess was created, the chessboard had a single color.
Another fact is that the earliest known ancestor of the chessboard is the Ashtāpada board. Here, “Ashtāpada” means eight-legged, and the name was given to an eight-square by eight-square ancient Indian board game.
The First Time a Computer Defeated a Human
Back in November 1988, a significant milestone was achieved when Deep Thought defeated an international grandmaster Bent Larsen in a chess tournament held in Long Beach, California. This event marked the first-ever victory of a computer in such a tournament.
Deep Thought won the tournament by a score of 2-0. Mark it as the beginning of AI dominance over humans. The technology behind Deep Thought originated from the work of Feng-Hsiung Hsu and his team at Carnegie Mellon University. Furthermore, IBM helped developed the technology.
The Longest Chess Match
Chess requires a lot of patience, but sometimes this patience can make records. The longest chess game lasted for 20 hours and 15 minutes. Moreover, the game ended in a draw. Just imagine sitting for 20 hours, and there is no winner. 🤯😲
The record-breaking game took place in 1989 between I. Nikolic and Arsovic in Belgrade. The total number of moves played was 269. The record is still unbeaten. The closest recorded game was played between Danin and Azarov in Turnov 2016, with Danin emerging as the winner after 239 moves.
The Most Expensive Chessboard
Today an average chessboard costs around $50. But when it comes to the most expensive chessboard, it was valued at a whopping $9.8 million. It’s made from some seriously high-end stuff like gold, platinum, diamonds, emeralds, rubies, pearls, and sapphires. 💰💸
The King piece is the real showstopper, though. It’s worth over $127,000 and weighs a whopping 165.2 grams of 18-carat yellow gold. The coolest part is the spiral design on the center of the piece, that’s covered in 73 rubies and 146 diamonds. Can you even imagine playing a game of chess with this set?!
The World’s Oldest Board Game
Firstly, we don’t know the first board game to exist as there are many theories. However, many historians believe that the Royal Game of Ur is considered one of the world’s oldest board games, dating back at least 4,500 years. The game was played by the Sumerians in ancient Mesopotamia.
The rules of the game were written on a cuneiform tablet by a Babylonian astronomer in 177 BC. The aim of the game was for two players to race their pieces from one end of the board to the other. The central squares were also used for fortune-telling.
The First Board Game to be Commercially Produced
In history, most the board games were for the royal and rich families. Did you know that the Game Of Goose was the first game to be commercially produced in the late 15th century? The game requires luck and no skills or strategies to play, which makes it playable by every person of any age group.
The rule is simple; your aim is to reach the center of the board before your opponent. You start from one corner of the board and roll a die which will decide your movement. Initially, the game was commercially produced in three languages: French, German, and Italian.
Today, a lot of board games are inspired by the concept of the Game of Goose.
One of the Most Popular Board Games of our Generation
I’m pretty sure, at least once in your life, you have played Scrabble. It’s one of the most popular pastimes and party games. I remember playing it with my family member while waiting for the morning coffee. Scrabble was invented by Alfred Mosher Butts back in 1938.
Since then, the game has gained global acknowledgment and love. Today, the game is distributed and sold 150 million copies in more than 121 counties. Furthermore, you can play the game in 31 different languages. The game requires skills, luck, and a good vocabulary.
Did you know that “OXYPHENBUTAZONE” is the highest-scoring legal word in Scrabble? If you manage to assemble this word, you can score a staggering 1782 points in a single play! Sounds challenging, doesn’t it? I find it challenging to even pronounce the word. Best of luck to anyone attempting it!
Don’t Google it — I’ll tell you the meaning of the word. Oxyphenbutazone is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug.
The Earliest Board Game Adapted into a Computer Game
Battleship is a game that I enjoy a lot with my friends. This game requires strategy and luck to play. Well, did you know that Battleship was played on pen and paper even before World War I? Later in 1967, Milton Bradley remodeled the game into a plastic board.
Then in 1979, Battleship became one of the earliest board games to be developed for the Z80 Compucolor. The game was developed by Elite Systems and published by Datasoft.
Today, you can play the game on your mobile devices and PC. There have been multiple new aspects added to the game but, at the same time, keeping the real concept in the game.
The Longest-ever Game of Monopoly
Monopoly can be a lot of fun, and sometimes the game can be lengthy. How long have you played a game of Monopoly? Once, I played a game of Monopoly that lasted 3 hours. What if I told you that the longest game ever lasted not for hours, days, or weeks but for months?
To date, the longest-ever game of Monopoly lasted for 70 consecutive days. Which is 2 months and 10 days. I mean, they gave a new meaning to the phrase “Never give up”!
The Most Expensive Monopoly Game Set
One thing that I find funny is that you can turn any common thing into an expensive masterpiece. All you have to do is add gold, diamonds, and other precious stones. And boom! Expensive.
Bearing this in mind, did you know that there’s a Monopoly game set out there that’s worth a cool $2 million? It was made by a jeweler named Sidney Mobell from San Francisco back in 1988. The board itself is made of 23-carat gold and has rubies and sapphires all over it.
Even the houses and hotels are made of solid gold, with little chimneys and everything. And get this: the dice have a whopping 42 diamonds on them! No wonder it’s in the Guinness Book of World Records. Shocking, right?
This Board Game Inventor was not Expecting This
Just imagine you being an inventor of any product, and the demand is so high that you don’t get to keep the first edition of the product. That’s what happened to Klaus Teuber, the inventor of the board game Settlers of Catan.
As soon as the game was released, the demand was so high that Teuber didn’t get the first edition of the game. There were 5000 prints of the game in the first edition, and it all sold out in no time. Soon more games were printed, and all 400,000 prints were sold in a flash.
The Effects of Board Games on Our Mental Health
In our daily life, we spend most of our time surrounded by technology, and we get less time to socialize. This routine is slowly affecting our mental health. As kids, even if you gave me stones and sticks, we created our own games and enjoyed them to the fullest.
Board games play a crucial role when it comes to enjoyment and socializing off the internet. Even today, I love to play Monopoly and Chess whenever I get free time. And after playing such a game, I feel more relaxed. Such games unite people.
Ever wonder why companies have separate spaces for board games and indoor games? It is a place where employees can chill and relax as well as socialize with other employees.
Studies have demonstrated that engaging in board game activities can enhance cognitive function and alleviate depression. Additionally, playing newly-designed board games can facilitate positive behavioral changes, including the encouragement of healthy eating habits. The advantages of board gaming extend beyond these examples and are numerous.
I think we should spend time more time away from the internet and technology and indulge more in board games. Bring your family and friends and spend some quality time with them; it will strengthen your bond. After finishing this article, I’ll call my friend and challenge him to a game of Chess.
Liked these board game facts? If yes, then these board game statistics will blow your mind!
Hey there, I remember back in 2007 when I got my first computer and discovered the wonderful world of gaming through playing Mario. From then on, gaming has been a huge part of my life, and it’s crazy to think that it’s now my career! I love writing… read more