How traditional games have been adapted for the digital age

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Browsing online and looking for games to play, we’re undoubtedly spoilt for choice these days. There are millions to choose from and literally every day, something new is released by software developers and gaming studios, vying for our attention. However, some traditional games just seem to have an ageless appeal, despite having being around for a very long time.

Monopoly

Few traditional games have become quite so famous or widely played as Monopoly, the classic board game where the aim is to buy and trade properties, develop them with houses and hotels, collect rents from rival players and seek to drive them towards bankruptcy. Never has waving wads of fake cash been so much fun, unleashing our imaginary inner property mogul and for just a little while, becoming fabulously wealthy.

That said, considering the capitalist-minded theme of Monopoly, many of us might be highly surprised by the origins of the game and its inventor. When she designed and self-published The Landlord’s Game back in 1904, American political activist and anti-monopolist Lizzie Magie had an entirely different purpose in mind. Her aim for the game was for players to players to distribute wealth more equitably, rather than be greedy and create monopolies.

Nevertheless, the original concept was adapted by Charles Darrow in the early 1930’s, who first coined the ‘Monopoly’ name for his version of the game. Shortly afterwards, renowned games company Parker Brothers bought the respective patents from Darrow and Magie, turning this iconic game into the world-renowned brand we know today. There are now hundreds of variants and spin-off games, all based around the original Monopoly idea.

Given the huge variety of Monopoly variants that existed before the digital boom, since 1991 when Hasbro acquired Parker Brothers and all their gaming brands, it’s easy to understand why the game has easily made the transition online. Video game versions of Monopoly had already appeared in the 1990’s and they soon embraced online play via the internet. Since mobile gaming has become hugely popular, Hasbro.com now has official Monopoly gaming apps available to download.

Blackjack

As one of the easiest card games to understand and play, Blackjack has become one of the most popular card games found at casino tables throughout the world. While the ‘Blackjack’ name first appeared in the United States, mostly amongst prospectors during the late 1800’s Klondike Gold Rush era, its origins actually date back much further.

Indeed, the game originated in Spain as ‘Vientiuna’ in the early 1600’s and was even mentioned in the writings of Don Quixote author, Miguel de Cervantes. A renowned gambler himself, Cervantes based his short story “Rinconete y Cortadillo” on two card players in Sevilla, who made their money cheating, using rigged Spanish baraja decks. Next time you play,

Although mostly associated with casino gaming and gambling, given that Blackjack also became a popular game amongst families and friends at home, it’s not hard to understand why Blackjack easily made the tradition to online gaming. What’s more, this leap forward into the digital age also brought numerous variants, including ‘Spanish 21’ which harks back to the oldest known origins of the game.

Given that online gambling is becoming increasingly widespread and legal throughout the United States, thanks to new and amended legislature over the last few years, this list of trusted casino sites highlights where online blackjack can be played. Of course, it’s always worth reading plenty of reviews for each site to find out which have the best welcome offers, along with details about the wide range of games available at each site.

Checkers

One of the oldest board games that is still played today, commonly known as ‘Draughts’ (pronounced as ‘drafts’) in the United Kingdom and Europe, Checkers can date its origins back to the very beginnings of human civilization. In fact, the first known example of the game was unearthed near the ancient city of Ur in southern Mesopotamia, which is part of modern-day Iraq. Subsequent carbon dating aged the board and playing pieces at 3000 BCE.

Another version known as ‘Alquerque’ was discovered in Egypt using a 5×5 board, which dates back to 1400 BCE and spread in popularity throughout the known world. By 1100 AD in medieval France, the game stepped closer to the modern versions we know today, using an 8×8 chess board and more playing pieces.

Although not quite as complicated or strategic as chess, renowned English mathematicians William Payne wrote a treatise on the game of Draughts in 1756, which had become a popular parlor game amongst the upper classes by that point in time. However, the biggest technological jump came in 1952, when American machine learning pioneer Arther Lee Samuel created the first computerized Checkers program.

Given the basics of gameplay in modern Checkers are quite simple to grasp, it’s easy to understand why thousands of years after the game was invented, the transition to the digital age has been a natural progression. Just by doing a quick search online, there are literally thousands of websites and apps available, offering numerous variants, including online player versus player and player versus artificial intelligence programs.

Classic gaming will always thrive

Despite online video gaming often placing an increased emphasis on flashy graphics, intense gameplay, and the constant desire to keep on pushing the latest technological boundaries, classic games remaining so popular is an interesting quirk of human nature. Traditional games will always have their place and will continue to thrive, hundreds and even thousands of years after they were first invented.

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