In the fast moving world of online gaming, you might think the games played by our parents and grandparents would be lost in the sands of time. The truth, however, is quite the opposite. Far from losing their appeal, some of the most traditional games, many with history going back hundreds of years, have gained a whole new level of appeal in the online age. Here are five examples.
Take a wheel, a ball and one of the most influential mathematicians of the 17th century and what do you get? The answer is a game that has been fascinating gamblers for well over 200 years. According to popular history, the roulette wheel was invented by Blaise Pascal some time in the late 1600s as part of his research on perpetual motion. This was combined with an Italian game called Birbo to become roulette. The game was a big hit among the French aristocracy in the late 1700s, and has just as much appeal in today’s online casinos thanks to the simplicity of the rules. Like the Lotto, this is a number-based game that anyone can play with an equal chance of success.
In those carefree days before the Revolution, the French loved their games and when they were not spinning the roulette wheel, they were playing vingt-et-un. Today, the game is better known as blackjack, but the rules are materially the same. Again, online blackjack is a popular game for those who might not be big money gamblers, thanks to the familiarity of the rules and the fact that you can give your chances of winning a real boost by following quite simple strategy rules.
Not every traditional game involves wagering money – at least, not money of the real variety. Monopoly initially appeared as The Landlord’s Game in 1903 and was an early example of gamification to make a point. Creator Lizzie Magie wanted to demonstrate the negative effects of monopolies on a society and expound the economic theories of Henry George. The game we recognise today was first published in 1935 and has spawned numerous variations – there was even a Game of Thrones version released last year. There are also ways to play electronically, including Monopoly Streets on the Xbox 360 and several slot versions available online.
Anyone who has been commuting by train for years will remember the days when at least half the passengers would be puzzling over crosswords in the morning or evening papers. You might think that is one tradition that has dwindled in popularity, but that’s not necessarily the case. There are dozens of apps with thousands of brain teasers that are downloaded every day. In fact, this is something of a golden age for crossword fans, as now, they can take on the notoriously difficult Times Crossword every day, from anywhere in the world.
The digital age has spawned some historic games of its own, and one of the earliest was Tetris. Initially launched in 1984, it was one of the first games to appear on early mobile phones. Tetris has earned a place in the Guinness Book of Records as the most ported game, and its popularity shows no sign of diminishing.