Dominoes – A Game That Has Stood The Test Of Time
A game is simply a structured type of playful play, often undertaken for fun or entertainment, and at times used as a teaching tool. Games are quite different from work, which traditionally are carried out for profit, and from literature, that are more often a medium of political or artistic expression. In all three cases, the object of the game is to achieve a particular goal by using any number of means, but the most common examples are pointing, shooting, strategy and board games.
One of the earliest known board games was Strategos. This game was created around 4500 BC in Egypt, in the region now known as the Lower Nile. It was probably inspired by the ancient Greek war games, where players would select cards, one for each side, that were face up, on a flat board, in front of them. Each player was to use their knowledge and skills of strategy to win points and be the first player to cross their opponent’s line. The game evolved over time to include playing cards that indicated certain strategic situations, such as when all of the possible routes from the edge of the playing field to the center of the board are available and possibly also indicated which player’s turn it was to take.
Another early game was Chess, devised in ancient Greece, possibly inspired by the ancient Greek war games. It is known that the first recorded game was played between two friends, giving rise to the expression ‘Chess and Champagne’. One of the rules was that each player had ten playing cards, two of which were Dominoes, the first token with which to play. Dominoes could be used to make a ‘hand’ of the game, i.e., one single move that all players would make, using any number of Dominoes as a combination of basic playing cards.
With more time being devote to development of Chess, rules were further developed to allow for additional playing cards, with one of these being added to each player’s hand, or to be kept in reserve for that player’s use at the end of the game. The first sets of standard playing cards came about in the nineteenth century. By the twentieth century, due to widespread use of computers and electronics in modern society, many aspects of the standard chess sets have been mechanized. For example, the Queen symbolizes the tile which a player must first place on their chess board before placing their Dominoes on the board. The standard chess set also includes a king which may be moved around the board, a pawn which can be moved into different squares on the chess board and a variety of other units, each with varying movement and attack capabilities.
Dominoes continue to be used as game pieces in many variations of the game, even as recently as the game Pieces & Play: Royalty by Gary Kasparov. As new sets of standard chess pieces are constantly being developed and upgraded, the game comes to include more complex strategic elements and players have found more ways to engage in figurative chess battle. For example, players may not be able to easily distinguish between a knight and a rook, or they may not be able to easily tell the difference between an armored knight and an unarmed knight. In addition, a computer program called the Freecell Game has been programmed by a group of experts to challenge the player’s ability to discern the differences between one’s own Dominoes and the opponent’s Dominoes.
Dominoes continue to be a part of popular card games, including the well known game Monopoly and its many imitations. They also make up a significant part of the game called Scrabble, as well as the popular game 21 and the extremely popular and addictive Candyland. Even some of the most simple and lighthearted computer games will use dominoes, such as Apples v. oranges. A popular game show on the television network named Extreme Makeover features an entire segment which challenges house owners to see who can “win” by using the most dominoes. In all of these examples, playing cards have been modified to help people distinguish themselves from one another, often to the point where the traditional cards are no longer relevant.