According to the Dutch historian and cultural theorist Johan Huizinga, play is the essential element that defines the human society throughout generations. In his book, Homo Ludens, translated to English as “Man the Player,” he discusses that how the human species has been engaging in activities that satisfy the human need of social interaction, competition and accolades based on merits.
Huizinga discusses some of the things that make play an important thing for humans and why they enjoy it so much. Besides the fact that play is a lot of fun, there are five distinct characteristics that must be seen in a form of play,
1. Play is free. In fact, it is the freedom that we all enjoy
2. Play must be interesting and not “real” or “ordinary” life.
3. Play must be different from “ordinary” life in the aspects of both locality and the duration of play
4. Play requires order and absolute following of certain rules to make the play interesting
5. Play should not be connected to material interest and the need for play should not be based on profit.
A lot has changed since Huizinga wrote the book, but the essence of play still remains the same. Cyber games have become worldwide phenomena. Sporting events are held based solely on competitions based on a certain genre or style of games that allows gamers to compete, have fun and make a profit out of it.
The fascination that humans have with play dates back to the ancient times of hunting and gathering societies. Humans competed against each other in being the best hunter, strategizing to lure the prey and striking with accuracy to reap the benefits of a successful hunt.
It is true that this was essential for survival, but it was also an activity that humans enjoyed. As society evolved, they started to create images and symbols which allowed them to carve pieces that could be used to create games like chess. This is a shift in culture. As culture evolves, the human need and ways of play evolve too.
As the culture of capitalism reached its peak, one of the best board games of the century came out. Monopoly became a must have board game in every household. There were friendships broken and formed over this game.
As technology advanced, people started to stay connected to each other more and more. Instant messaging allowed for better communication across the globe and pretty soon web cams allowed for people to see and speak to friends or even strangers who were millions of miles away.
The online generation took the games that they cherished and created platforms which allowed them to observe the same games that they had been playing for decades in a new way. People from all over the globe could now share information, tactics and strategies of winning games one way or the other.
Chess, which started out as a board game, played with pieces carved from stone and a checkered platform, spread out to the globe because it was one of the most engaging activities. It pretty soon found its way on to computers which later on connected via the internet and allowed random people to challenge each other and learn as they played.
The online platform has allowed for a lot of other games to become digitized and even given birth to new genres of games.
Here are some games you can play online:
No more setting up the board and waiting for your friend to finish their meal so you can start giving everyone the starting money. You can now play Monopoly online with friends and people who are as bored as you are.
Monopoly is a great game for kids and adults alike. It teaches us a lot of things about finance and investing. The first lesson that it teaches is that a person should always have cash at hand. Monopoly is based on the principle of buying, spending and investing. The concept of rent is a reminder that it is not just about aimlessly buying up all the property that you see. You need to have cash with you so that you can perform well when it comes to paying for your financial responsibilities.
Another thing that the game teaches us is that it is not always the most expensive asset that you should go for, but the ones you think will bring in the most money. Strategically buying up property across the board can help you gain more funds than the person who owns the properties, which have the highest rent. Think logically.
Spread out your funds. Do not invest everything in one property and then wait for the players to land there and pay you. Spread out your hotels on all the properties you have across the board so that you may have a better chance at making money as the game progresses. Since you are constantly rolling the dice and moving across the board, you cannot expect to win the game by just developing one property the most. It has to be evened out.
Playing Monopoly online gives you the advantage of not setting up the board or pieces. The bank is computerized too, so you do not have to worry about that one friend who cheats all the time. Play Monopoly online and experience the game like you have never played before.
Card games hold a very special place in our hearts. Like chess, one of the earliest games that were created for one or more than one player, were the deck of 52 cards. Since then, humans have found ways to create a lot of games which utilize all or some of these 52 cards.
Playing cards also became the leader in gambling games and one of the gifts of the Old West to the world was Texas Hold’em Poker. Although gambling is generally looked down upon, but online poker gives the person a chance to play with virtual money provided by the site themselves. People, who want to gamble with real money, do have the option, but you can play just for the sake of playing and not bet actual money on the game.
Zynga came out with one of the best platforms to play poker on. The site was in partnership with Facebook and gave Facebook numerous games where users could come together and play. Poker, being one of the most famous, is still being played by more than 5 million players. You can join in with your friends or just play a hand or two anytime you feel like.
It’s fun and highly addictive. Zynga also gives the person a daily bonus so they can play more. If you lose all your money in an all-in you thought was unbeatable, don’t worry, you’ll get some more virtual chip[s] to gamble with, the next day.
Another fun feature of the game involves the fact that you can gift things to people sitting on the table such as buying them a drink or a hookah to go with their game (all virtual of course) but it adds a nice casino like feeling to the overall game. You can even tip the dealer when you win big, as it’s just appropriate to do so.
Checkers! A game so simple yet so captivating that it is loved by billions around the world. What makes checkers so fascinating? Is it the simplicity of the game, or is it the way you can take out four pieces in one move and destroy your opponent? We’re pretty sure most people love it because of the second reason.
The sound of banging your piece over the rest of your opponent’s pieces is one of the most satisfying sounds you will ever hear. Well, now the best part is you can play checkers at home. Go online, find a checker enthusiast like you and then just destroy them. That is the way to go.
Checkers, like chess, has been around for many centuries and is one of the best ways to pass the time. The game has only one kind of piece unlike chess, but a lot of possibilities every time you play the game.
Another great card game that is a lot of fun to play with other people, Hearts was one of the games that could be installed on your Windows 95 operating system. Hearts is a beautiful game. It allows you to win the game by completely losing it.
The aim of the game is to not get hearts at all and be wary of the Black Queen, which is the Queen of Spades. The aim of the game is to get the least points you possible can and every heart card is worth one point. Getting the Black Queen means 13 points directly added to your account.
A very good twist in the game is the completely losing bit mentioned earlier, because if a person manages to get all the points in their bank, the points automatically go to all the opponents of the person, leaving them with the no points gathered of their own.
Earlier on, when you installed the game on the computer, it allowed you to play with CPU generated players that were controlled through the computer. But since everything is connected these days, you can now play with other Hearts enthusiasts and dominate the playing field with your sneaky tactics. Hearts is a lot of fun to play with friends and is a great game to show off your strategic planning.
With pieces similar to checkers, Backgammon is both a game of chance and strategy, much like poker. You are at the mercy of your brain and the die you throw. Backgammon has origins from Mesopotamia, what is now Iraq and dates back to 5000 years.
The aim of the game is to get all your pieces off the board before your opponent can. This, of course, depends on what you roll on the dice and how you play the overall game. It is the ultimate racing board game with players having the option of sending players back to the starting point.
As you start from your opponent’s side of the board, they can also seal each of the open slots, preventing you from releasing any of your locked pieces. Additionally, you can only move to a place that is either empty or has just one piece of your opponent, which will be sent back to replace yours.
Additionally, it is important to note that keeping any one piece on a slot puts in danger of being sent back again and therefore moving pieces in twos is recommended. Doubles on the dice also result in double turns, with the same numbers on the dice being used for 4 moves, instead of two. The game play usually ends when either opponent wins 3 rounds.
Backgammon is a very nice activity to enjoy with your family and friends, but in case you cannot find them, you can always play with other players willing to kill some time over good board games.
An old Indian game, also known as Ludo, Parchisi is one of the most played games in South Asia. The aim of the game is to get all your pieces around the board back home before the other players do. Supporting up to 4 players, it guarantees loads of fun for everyone.
The game has been played so much that there are several rule renditions for it. Before the game starts, a clarification of the rules must be made. The most enjoyable part of the game is that your opponent can beat you and send you home on any part of the board if they land on the same spot as you are currently standing on.
The sending back home twist can allow the game to take a total turn. A person who was winning initially can have their whole game upset just because they made one bad decision and were a little impatient when playing the game. The game is played with one and in some cases, two dice. Again, the rules are modifiable.
The game is versatile and allows people to explore different ways of winning. Each player gets 4 pieces that must reach home before the opponent’s pieces. In one rendition, 5 is the number that allows you to start the journey around the board and in some, 6 is the golden number.
Parchisi is a great game to enjoy with family and friends and is available online for everyone to enjoy. Try this game and have loads of fun.