December 13, 2021


Villaging Fun


Fun is an important aspect of villaging. Here at The Village Collector,

we recognize that fact with the inclusion of “FUN” in our tagline.



As with any passion or pastime, sharing can enhance the level of

enjoyment. Since the earliest times, when Og beat Ug in the first

“Cave Painting RockFest,” games have been a fun way to share

time with like-minded people. 



(Bonus scenes from the “Cave Painting RockFest” games

are at the end of this column)


One popular aspect of gaming has been board games.

Let’s take a look into this time-honored endeavor . . . shall we?



Board games are tabletop games that typically use pieces moved

or placed on a pre-marked board called the playing surface. Most

feature a competition between two or more players. 



That seems pretty basic, but looking deeper, there are many varieties

of board games. Game play can range from having no story or theme,

such as checkers, to having a specific theme and narrative, such as

Clue. Rules can range from the very simple, such as in Snakes and

Ladders, to very complex, as in Trickerion.




Board games have been played in most cultures and societies

throughouhistory. Senet, found in some ancient burial sites of

Egypt, dating about 3500 BC, is the oldest board game known to

have existed. Senet was also pictured in a fresco found in

Merknera's tomb (3300–2700 BC).




Hounds and Jackals, another ancient Egyptian board game,

appeared around 2000 BC.




A currently known game, Backgammon, originated in ancient

Mesopotamia over 5,000 years ago and is still played today.




Commercially produced board games in the mid-19th century

were monochrome prints, laboriously hand-colored by teams

of low-paid, young factory women. 



The earliest board games published in the United States were

based upon Christian morality. As the country gained wealth

and status, games transitioned from a focus on morality to

competition and materialism. 






Nowhere is capitalism’s impact more apparent than in the game

Mansion of Happiness (1843). Originally it sent players along a

path of virtues and vices that led to the Mansion of Happiness

(Heaven) but, as the Industrial Revolution gained traction, the

goal concentrated on amassing wealth.




This wood-engraved and hand-colored edition of “Snake” was published

between 1840 and 1860. The way it works: When a player lands on each

space they have to the follow instructions given with the corresponding

illustration and the first person to make it to the end wins.




The game of the “District Messenger Boy,”  published in 1886, was

one of the first board games based on materialism and capitalism

published in the United States. The game is a typical roll-and-move

track board game. Players move their tokens along the track at the

spin of the arrow toward the goal at the track's end. Some spaces on

the track will advance the player while others will send him back.



Such games insinuated that the accumulation of wealth

brought increased social status. Competitive capitalistic

games culminated in 1935 with Monopoly, the most

commercially successful board game in U.S. history.






Like many items, board game popularity was boosted through

mass production, which made them cheaper and more easily

available. With all this transformation, board games were now

seen as a way to educate, advise, entertain, and live out

fantasies. Games of chance and fortune telling became

very popular.






This was a truly advanced and amazing game! While there isn't a

yellow brick road on the board game that was created in 1921, it

was inspired by the books written by L. Frank Baum and features

all of the lands and characters from the fantasy world.




The late 1990s onwards have seen substantial growth in the

reach, and the market, of board games. This has been attributed

to, among other factors, the Internet. Around the year 2000 the

board gaming industry began significant growth with companies

producing a rising number of new games to be sold to a

growing worldwide audience. 



Board game venues are also growing in popularity. In 2016, over

5,000 “board game cafes” opened in the U.S. alone. Board game

cafes are also extremely popular in China.



Board games have remained a popular leisure activity, which has

only grown over time. An estimate puts the growth of the board

game market "between 25% and 40% annually" since 2010, and

described the current time as the "golden era for board games”.

(Yes, we like anything referred to as a “Golden Age”)



A 1991 estimate for the global board game market was over

$1.2 billion. Per capita, Germany is considered to be the best

market, with the highest number of games sold per individual.



Morality may have taken a back seat in parlor games, but

competitive sports like baseball and golf became the center

point of many board games. Table games were the great

equalizer. Even though woman made strides in the Suffrage

Movement, they were still not allowed to play sports with boys

But everyone was welcome at the family table and, from this

safe place, anyone could partake in the festivities. Games

continue to evolve, but that sense of inclusiveness remains

at the core. So, gather your family and friends, some

yummy snacks, your favorite beverage, and have a

board game challenge tonight.



So, here’s where we tie in villaging. With the booming popularity

of board games, they are all over the internet. We’ve picked a

bunch for you for this month’s “Fun Stuff” page.


Click on the above picture to go directly to the "Fun Stuff" page.

Typically, you can find a huge variety of general,

holiday, or Christmas themes, but nothing on villaging.

OK, brain fade time - at this point I decided to try

to invent one. Here’s my attempt at a family-time,

villaging board game. Watson, the games a-foot . . .

Hey, it’s free, so at least you can tell your friends that

you got your money’s worth. Let the games begin.

Click on the star to go directly to TVC - The Game !!!

Happy Villaging !!

And now . . . as promised . . .


















Oops, take your umbrella down too soon?

Now THAT'S a train story !!

C'ya next time




Another Example of TVC's version of: