Wednesday, 6 January 2016

The games people play

Published in 1975 and so way before computer games, even Pac-Man (1980) but it includes over two thousand games played around the world. Games in the widest context of the word so here are tiddlewinks, tick-tack-toe, baccaret, chess, snooker and table tennis. I bought the book years ago because it was beautifully designed (publication designers do that sort of thing) and as a useful reference book.

The fifteen chapters are divided into obvious sections like: tile; card; dice; table; casino. Each game starts with an illustration and a brief look at its background (and some go back centuries) followed by the rules and objectives. The book's five thousand illustrations back up the words so that each game is clearly explained. Card games like solitaire get a whole chapter because of so many geographic variations.

As far as I'm aware this is a one of a kind book because it's so comprehensive, the amount of work in writing the text and organising the pages means no one has published a better version and nicely it can be picked up quite cheaply, too.

*The Diagram Group who created this book did the same supurb job with Rules of the game, an illustrative guide to sports of the world.

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