Board Games development and expansion

Board Games development and expansion

If there is one board game that benefited from an explosion at that time it is Chaturanga, which is better known today as a chess game.

The first traces of Chaturanga date back to the sixth century BC, and are believed to have originated in northern India. The goal of the game was already to bring down the enemy king. At the time, the games were already played on a board of 8 squares by 8 squares but for 4 players each having a ship, a horse, an elephant, a king and four pawns. Unlike today, the Chaturanga was played with dice that then decided which piece had to be moved. There was no real limitation on the movement of parts. Quickly, the roll of the dice will be replaced by logic. The game will then be played in 2 against 2 and then in 1 against 1.

This is when the game will develop, with a real explosion in East Asia: in Japan, China, then in the Persian Empire. However, it was the Arab Empire that brought the game of Chaturanga to Europe via Spain during the Arab-Muslim conquests leading them to Poitiers in 732. At that time, Chaturanga began to resemble the current chess game with a king, an advisor, an elephant, a horse, a roukh and a soldier. As it settles in Europe, the game still evolves and takes its definitive features with the advisor who becomes the queen, the elephant who becomes the madman and finally the roukh who becomes the tower!

The game of Chaturanga or Shatranj (for some cultures) developed throughout Europe as far as Scandinavia.

The Middle Ages will be a harmful period for the development of board games, with in Europe, religion, which will partially block the practice of it.

Charles V will write an ordinance, on April 3, 1369, preventing the games of dice, tables, the game of palm, the bowling, the shuffles, the soule and the marbles. His argument, at that time, was based on the desire not to waste time unnecessarily and instead to learn how to handle weapons. The only game tolerated at court, the famous game of chess. Taking for the spirit and to awaken possible military capabilities, this game becomes very popular and fashionable in France, as well as in countries of Catholic orientation.

Besides the game of chess, the only games tolerated are card games! The first origins of the maps date back to Greek and Roman mythology, with a divinatory role used in particular by the Pythia. It will be necessary to wait until the ninth century AD to find the first traces of card games strictly speaking thanks to the creation of sheets of paper. These first cards are also at the origin of the domino games that appeared a few years later, but also and above all, the first monetary cards. However, despite an instant regional development, the maps were slow to be exported to Europe and arrived in France around the fourteenth century thanks to arab influence and the first merchants of the Silk Road to the Asian regions.

They will take advantage of the dark years of the Middle Ages and the beginning of the Renaissance to take more and more importance and become a sure value of the board game in Europe!

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