From the time of Ancient Egypt and the Greek Arcades, and
perhaps earlier, there have been many designs for games,
particularly board games, nimble games, group games, and
private games, amongst others.
Games often feature minor characteristics from mathematics and
social or political comprehension, particularly winning and losing
and the resulting (sometimes pretend) difference in social status.
Lying and fighting were early examples of games which are now
taken very seriously, and sometimes punished. Justice itself was
once seen as a kind of 'game of the gods', associated with
concepts such as Hubris (offending the gods) and Moira (the
influence of one Fate over another).
In the game of chess we see an aesthetic of competing identical
social orders. Some would argue that the aesthetics of chess is
very different from its strategy.
In games such as Mancala and Cribbage players are asked to
make basic strategic decisions involving numbers or combinations
Games have played an important role in defining the abstractions
which lie behind religious, mythological, and metaphysical
At one time games may have been considered magical, but now
they are often treated as toys for mathematical and social
To some extent the strongest component of games has always
been the beliefs of those teaching them. Exaggeration, doubt, and
epiphany have been important elements of games for a long time.
If I focus on board games in particular, the aesthetic of games
involves such things as:
1. Pieces, beads, etc.
2. Categories, holes, etc.
3. Designs, etc.
4. Rules, options, etc.
5. Strategies, concepts, etc.
So, in general, the intensity of a board game is derived by an
exponential relationship placing concepts first and pieces last.
The most adaptable element of a board game appears to be the
board itself, followed by the aesthetic of the board, and the rules
used to play on the board. The strategies and ways the pieces are
used are the least flexible elements.
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