Games have been an integral part of civilisation for thousands of years, and represent one of the earliest forms of entertainment. As society and its tools have progressed, old games have become obsolete while new options have taken their place. However, there are a few classics that have managed to survive through cultural and technological changes, and remain hugely popular to this day. Roulette is one of the obvious mentions here, and there are a few others that could be considered just as iconic.
Roulette can be traced all the way back to the 17th century. Most sources agree that the French polymath Blaise Pascal introduced the concept of the wheel that would later be used in roulette. He wasn’t trying to create a gambling game, however. Indeed, it is said that he was trying to develop a machine of perpetual motion. In the 18th century, this idea was taken and blended with the Italian game Biribi to make roulette. The game, as it is known today, began to be played in French gambling houses from the late 1700s, with records describing a roulette table in Paris in 1796.
Roulette has survived this long for many reasons. Not only is it an exciting game to play, but it is also an impressive and visually pleasing feature to have in a casino. The game has become synonymous with gambling houses, and the spinning colours of red and black are among the first things that spring to mind when you think of a casino.
The main reason for roulette’s success to this day, though, has been in the way developers have adapted it for modern technology. By using complex random number generators, computer coders have been able to create digitalised versions of roulette that reflect the gameplay of the real-world wheel.
It remains as one of the most popular gambling games on the planet, with players actively seeking it out above other offerings. This has led sites like VegasSlotsOnline to emerge, as a way to help people find the best place to play roulette. The site explains the pros and cons of playing for free or real money, and also details the features of the top roulette sites. This includes things like welcome bonuses, pay-out rates, and banking methods.
If there’s one game that could perhaps challenge roulette in terms of notoriety, it would be chess. While the board game is probably not considered as mainstream as roulette, it is well known throughout the world. Even people who haven’t played chess before would be able to recognise it, and a number of commonly used English turns of phrase are derived from the game.
Chess has been around for an incredibly long time, with its origins tracing all the way back to 7th century India. On top of its longevity, chess has been played across so many different cultures. There are few games that exist today that can boast having been played in almost every country on the planet. On top of that, the game has barely evolved for more than 1000 years. It’s amazing to think that people playing today are doing so in the exact way people from medieval civilisations did.
One of the factors that helped chess survive in the modern age was that it was perfect for digitalisation. Computer programs have learnt how to play chess, and are more-than-worthy opponents. The internet has progressed things further, allowing people from all over the world to play one another. With numerous sites also allowing for players to take part in ranked games, there is a strong sense of competition in the chess community.
While chess may be the most famous of the traditional board games, it is not actually the one that has been in existence for the longest period of time. Go is considered to be the oldest board game that is still played on a regular basis to this day, having first been invented around 2500 years ago in China. It was first mentioned in Zuo Zhuan, a historical text that referenced an event in 548 BCE. Some people suspect that the game is even older than this, and trace it back to the mythical Chinese Emperor Yao who is said to have existed between 2337-2258 BCE.
Like chess, Go has barely changed throughout its long history. One of the most significant adaptations was made during the Tang Dynasty between the 7th and 10th centuries, when the board went from being played on a 17 x 17 grid to a 19 x 19 grid. The reason why Go was able to exist so many years ago was because it didn’t require any advanced materials. All that was needed was a square slab with straight lines carved into it, along with coloured stones that could be placed on the slab. Over time, the playing materials became beautifully crafted. More convenient options emerged as well. For instance, a cloth with a painted grid can be used in place of a board.
Just like the other games mentioned here, Go has adapted to new technology in order to survive in the modern age. This has helped it pick up more players around the world as well. Before the internet, Go was predominantly played in the Far East. But more people are getting into it from western cultures now as well, with a variety of sites allowing people to instantly access games of Go online.
It seems that the common theme of these three games is the way they have evolved with the world around them. Instead of becoming forgotten about as newer games emerged, these classics have been adapted and can now be played using modern technology. Some other stalwart games that deserve a mention here for their longevity include backgammon and blackjack. After having lasted so long already, it’s hard to imagine these games ever fading into obscurity.
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