Book

In addition to running this blog, I’m also working on a book about the history of tabletop gaming. It’ll look at 50 games throughout history, from 5,000 years ago up to today, and will cover all kinds of games; dice, card, board, role-playing, hobby, family, word, and any other kind of game you can think of.

You’ll get interesting stories, fun trivia, and fascinating facts about a wide variety of games, from popular titles that you’ve played a hundred times to ones that you had no idea were so important in the history of your favorite hobby.

It’s not just about history, though; it’s also about gaming culture. Why do we play tabletop games when video games provide a more technologically advanced, potentially more immersive experience? Why do we still play the kinds of games that were invented five centuries ago? What is it that keeps us coming back to tabletop games over and over? Why are they experiencing such an immense resurgence right now, of all times?

That’s what this book will set out to discover.

In case you’re interested, here’s a tentative table of contents:

Introduction: 5,000 Years of Gaming

  1. Senet (c. 3100 bc)
  2. Royal Game of Ur (c. 2600 bc)
  3. Dice (c. 2400 bc)
  4. Nine Men’s Morris (c. 1400 bc)
  5. Go (c. 1000 bc)
  6. Backgammon (c. 400)
  7. Tafl (c. 400)
  8. Mancala (c. 500)
  9. Chess (c. 500)
  10. Dominoes (c. 900)
  11. Playing cards (c. 1100)
  12. Chaupat (c. 1500)
  13. Snakes and Ladders (1500)
  14. Solitaire (c. 1800)
  15. Poker (c. 1800)

Interlude: The Rise of the Modern Board Game

  1. Mansion of Happiness  (1843)
  2. Little Wars (1913)
  3. Monopoly (1933)
  4. Scrabble (1938)
  5. Risk (1957)
  6. Acquire (1962)
  7. Dungeons & Dragons (1974)
  8. War in Europe (1976)
  9. Cosmic Encounter (1977)
  10. Trivial Pursuit (1982)

Interlude: Wargaming: A Niche within a Niche

  1. Warhammer (1983)
  2. Axis & Allies (1984)
  3. Pictionary (1985)
  4. Shadowrun (1989)
  5. Amber Diceless Roleplaying Game (1991)
  6. Magic: The Gathering (1993)
  7. Star Wars CCG (1995)
  8. Fluxx (1997)
  9. Carcassonne (2000)

Interlude: What Is a Eurogame?

  1. Settlers of Catan (2002)
  2. Betrayal at House on the Hill (2004)
  3. Memoir ’44 (2004)
  4. Twilight Struggle (2005)
  5. Agricola (2007)
  6. Pandemic (2007)
  7. Dominion (2008)
  8. Small World (2009)
  9. Cards Against Humanity (2011)
  10. Risk: Legacy (2011)
  11. Android: Netrunner (2012)
  12. Solforge (2012)
  13. Hearthstone (2014)
  14. XCOM: The Board Game (2015)
  15. Pandemic: Legacy (2015)
  16. Scythe (2016)

Conclusion: 5,000 Years of Storytelling

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