Board games are one of the best ways to keep yourself occupied. They are fun, lighthearted, intellectually challenging, and always keep you on your toes! The infinite variety of board games present on the market leads to numerous types of gameplay and challenges. So you can choose what game interests you the most. Board games can be played individually or as a team, in a cooperative setting or as a competition, with a deck of cards, on a board with pawns, or both! Some board games also have their very own video games as well. But, if we’re being honest, there is nothing more satisfying than beating your opponent on a physical board game. Board games have a long history, and since they’ve been around for ages, there are several interesting facts about them that we bet you haven’t discovered yet. So, if we’ve piqued your curiosity, read ahead to find out the most mind-boggling board game fun facts you’ve ever encountered! Let’s go!
1. Board games can improve your cognitive ability at any age.
Did you know that you can improve your brain health and learn a skill or two, all while killing free time in the most entertaining way possible? Sounds too good to be true? Well, it isn’t. Board games can help you improve your math skills, reasoning, linguistic abilities, and strategic planning. Depending on the type of board game you choose and how often you play it, you can train your brain to improve upon a particular skill set while playing board games. Board games also sharpen your thinking skills and prevent cognitive decline in later life. Additionally, they are beneficial for protecting the brain from degenerative diseases such as dementia and Alzheimers. For this reason, different board games are common in senior and assisted living homes. Some board games are specifically designed to help improve memory skills and can be useful for all ages.
2. Playing board games can help improve mental health.
Board games are a social activity enjoyed by all types. One of the integral themes of playing board games is engaging in teamwork and playing with your peers. Board games not only polish your social skills but also have a therapeutic effect on your mental health. By engaging in a fun social activity and laughing with your peers, you trigger your body to release endorphins, which allow your body to relax and cause a burst of happiness.
3. Professional scrabble may have involved some cheating.
Scrabble is played as an official sport in numerous African countries, including Senegal and Mali. However, during Scrabble tournaments, officials noticed that some players would cheat by trying to read the tiles with their fingers like braille. For this reason, special Scrabble tiles were created for use in tournaments that were completely flat on top.
4. Board games were a vital communication tactic in World War II
One of the most interesting facts surrounding board games originates from the POW camps under Nazi rule during World War II. Board games were a popular pastime for Nazi soldiers during the war, and they even let Allied POWs play their favourite board games. They then went a step further and allowed humanitarian services to distribute care packages to the incarcerated soldiers, which often included the game of monopoly. The British secret service took advantage of this opportunity and created Monopoly sets with hidden tools for escape. These tools included compasses, real money hidden in cards, and even a real map printed on silk that would prevent it from disintegrating.
5. The most popular board game in the world is…
This is a no-brainer. The most popular board game to be played all over the world is Monopoly. According to Guinness World Records, more than 500 million people have played the board game since 1999. Other famous games played worldwide include Chess, Jenga, Candy Land, Clue, and Stratego. Scrabble is another infamous game played all over the world. Scrabble is another popular game. Scrabble can be found in one in three American households.
6. Board games can be invented quite quickly.
Two journalists came up with the infamous trivia game, Trivial Pursuit, in just 45 minutes! However, they were soon sued by the author of the trivia encyclopedia series, Columbo. The author claimed that the game was based on his books, and he proved this by stating that he had planted false facts in his series, which were also used in Trivial pursuit. Although the case was finally dismissed, it did cause quite a controversy around the game.
7. The oldest board game in the world has been revealed.
The Royal Game of Ur is the oldest board game to be discovered. It was found buried in the royal tombs of Ur in Iraq and was discovered by the archaeologist Sir Leonhard Woolley. The game can be traced back to ancient Mesopotamia from 2600 to 2400 BC. Irving Finkel, a British museum curator, translated the game’s rules into English from ancient 177BC Babylonian scripture. The game is similar to modern-day Checkers or Daught, and its copy can be bought and played by history buffs from the British Museum in London. Backgammon, which is still widely played today, is also said to be more than 5000 years old and originated in Mesopotamia. Another ancient board game believed to have been invented by the ancient Egyptians is Senet.
8. What was the first board game to be sold on Amazon
Cranium is indeed one of the most well-known games of all time. The first board game to be sold on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble is Cranium. Incidentally, Cranium was also the first non-coffee product sold at Starbucks.
9. Some board games can be particularly dark.
Especially if Milton Bradley invented them. One such board game, The Game of Life, had suicide, poverty, and death as possible outcomes. The original version was released in 1860 and was named The Checkered Game of Life. In this version, there was a life tile that would give the player $100,000 if they won a Nobel prize. In the latter version of the game, this rule was changed to appearing on a reality TV show. Another game invented by the inventor that caused significant public outrage was The Sinking of Titanic. Eventually, the game had to be renamed after a year to Abandon Ship to avoid further public scrutiny.
10. How expensive can a game be?
The most expensive board game in the world is the Jewel Royale Chess Set, estimated to be around 9.8 million US dollars. It is made from platinum, gold, diamonds, and numerous precious stones such as rubies, emeralds, pearls, and sapphires. Charles Hollander’s Backgammon is the second most expensive game and is priced at 5 million Us dollars. The game was made by Bernard Maquin and contained gold, silver, and over 600,000 diamonds. Next is a monopoly set made by a jeweler in San Fransisco named Sidney Mobell, who Parker Brothers commissioned. This gold Monopoly set is estimated to be around 2 million dollars. It is made from 18-karat gold and is lavishly adorned with precious gems and stones such as diamonds, sapphires, and rubies.
11. There’s a secret to winning Connect Four!
Did you know that if you went first in Connect four, you could win the game every single time? Another fun fact about the board game is that it has over 4 trillion possibilities! The infamous game Connect four has numerous rumours and mysteries shrouding it. One of the most famous rumours was spread by Stuart Maconie, an English radio DJ who stated that David Bowie invented the board game! Although the legend isn’t true, it did cause some confusion in the public mind. Another legend says that Captain Cook was obsessed with an earlier version of the game and would play it endlessly in his cabin.
12. The Creator of Risk Was A Famous Director
Risk is one of the most famous board games to exist. But, it was created simply out of boredom by one of the most creative minds of all time, Albert Lamorisse. The French man made the board game while vacationing with his family in the Netherlands, and it was initially called “La Conquête du Monde,” which can be translated to “The Conquest of the World.” Although the game was an instant success, Albert Lamorisse gained far more fame by creating several hit movies. The director had won the prestigious Academy Award for his classic short film “The Red Balloon” just a year prior to releasing his board game.
13. Candy Land’s origin is not what you think.
Candy Land was invented by the school teacher Eleanor Abbott for children with Polio while she was recovering from the deadly virus. Before the Polio vaccine came along, polio spread rapidly and left numerous children crippled or unable to move in the Iron Lung. To make the children feel a little less isolated in hospitals where they were away from their families, Eleanor Abbott came up with an exciting game about an enchanted Candy Land. The game was an instant hit. Today, over 94% of American mothers are aware of this game, and more than 60% of households with children aged five years or below have the game.
Despite stiff competition from video games and Television shows, The board game industry has grown manifolds over the years. This shows that people are still just as interested in playing board games as before. Classic board games have existed for millennia, but board games for preschoolers and children have also become quite popular worldwide. Board games hide numerous secrets and signify rich heritage in some cultures. We’ve covered some of the most exciting board game facts in our article above, but this is just the tip of the iceberg!