Cover image for It's all a game : the history of board games from Monopoly to Settlers of Catan
It's all a game : the history of board games from Monopoly to Settlers of Catan
Donovan, Tristan, author.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Thomas Dunne Books, 2017.

Physical Description:
viii, 292 pages ; 25 cm
"Board games have been with us longer than even the written word. But what is it about this pastime that continues to captivate us well into the age of smartphones and instant gratification? In It's All a Game, British journalist and renowned games expert Tristan Donovan opens the box on the incredible and often surprising history and psychology of board games. He traces the evolution of the game across cultures, time periods, and continents, from the paranoid Chicago toy genius behind classics like Operation and Mouse Trap, to the role of Monopoly in helping prisoners of war escape the Nazis, and even the scientific use of board games today to teach artificial intelligence how to reason and how to win. With these compelling stories and characters, Donovan ultimately reveals why board games have captured hearts and minds all over the world for generations"--
Introduction: The birth of a new gaming era -- Tomb raiders and the lost games of the ancients: what board games reveal about our ancestors -- Chess: the "mad queen's game": how the chessboard came to embody centuries of world history -- Backgammon: the favored game of international pace-setters and ancient emperors: how backgammon became the most glamorous game of the 1970s -- The game of Life: a journey to the uniquely American day of reckoning: what the Game of Life tells us about the development of U.S. society -- The forgotten message of Monopoly: how Monopoly went from anti-landlord tirade to celebration of cutthroat capitalism -- From Kriegsspiel to Risk: blood-soaked and world-shaping play: how board game prepared the world for war -- I Spy: how chess and Monopoly became tools of espionage and propaganda -- Clue's billion-dollar crime spree: how Clue's very British murders cerated a world of armchair sleuths -- Scrabble: words without meaning: why words are meaningless to the best Scrabble players -- Plastic Fantastic, Mouse Trap, Operation, and the Willy Wonka of toys: how Mouse Trap and Operation took board games into the plastic age -- Sex in a box: what board games from Twister to Monogamy tell us about sexual attitudes -- Mind games: exploring brains with board games: what board games reveal about our minds -- Rise of the machines: games that train synthetic brains: how board games have powered the development of artificial intelligence -- Trivial Pursuit: adults at play: how Trivial Pursuit broke games out of the toy box -- Pandemics and terror: dissecting geopolitics on cardboard: what board games teach us about disease, geopolitics, and the War on Terror -- Made in Germany: Catan and the creation of modern board games: how Germany revitalized board gamine for the twenty-first century.
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