Board games are a cultural institution all over the world, and they have been for thousands of years. They’ve inspired gambling games from the very beginning too.
Here are 10 of the most interesting facts we could find about board games, from the oldest to the modern day.
Oldest board game
The world’s oldest playable board game is the Royal Game of Ur. Made in Ancient Mesopotamia, now Iraq, in 2600 – 2400 BC, only a few copies survive.
British Museum curator Irving Finkel translated the rules from a Babylonian inscription of 177BC. You can buy a replica of the Royal Game of Ur right now from the website of London’s British Museum.
Older board games exist, but the original rules are debated or unclear. For example, the Ancient Egyptian game Senet.
Mr T’s Big Day Out
Back in 1985, Mr. T was absolutely huge. Physically, and metaphorically. The A-Team star fought Rocky Balboa on the silver screen. He did educational infomercials.
He even made his own board game! Sounds cool at first – an action-packed adventure full of fools getting pitied and criminals busted. But no.
Mr. T’s board game is about a drive to an airport. And on the way, you complete such exciting tasks as picking up washing and paying off debt. The only suckas here were the poor people that paid for this game!
Bestselling board game
The best-selling board game of all time is…
With a history dating back thousands of years and millions of passionate players all over the world, what did you expect?
The most iconic board game of all time is also the bestseller. Around 3 million copies a year in the USA alone, every year for the past half-century. Checkmate, board games market!
Best-selling of 2022
The board games industry is relatively shy about releasing sales figures to the public.
However, we’ll answer this question as best we can. The top seller in Amazon NZ’s board game category, at the time of writing, is Monopoly: Animal Crossing Edition.
You can also play Monopoly-themed games at online casino nz dollars today! That includes pokies, scratches and live games.
Further, making its case as the most iconic board game ever, chess also takes the top spot for the most expensive individual set.
The Jewel Royale Chess Set is on the market for a cool $8.9 million. That even beats out several thousand-year-old sets in value.
The Jewel Royale is made entirely of solid gold and platinum, from the board to the pieces, and features over 1000 individual jewels.
Most pieces use helix inspired designs – except for the knights, which use realistic sculpture. It was made by British jewellers Boodles in 2005 and is still the most expensive board game today.
Ice Ice Board Game Night
In 1991, infamously cringe American rapper Vanilla Ice released an electronic rap board game.
It was imaginatively titled, Vanilla Ice: Electronic Rap Game. We’ll let you imagine that one.
The richest board game player in the world, who plays a board game as their career, is undoubtedly chess world champion Magnus Carlsen.
He has won an estimated $1 million in prize money from just chess tournaments alone. He has an estimated net worth of around $8 million from streaming revenues and commercial sponsorships.
In 1980, an American husband and wife team made a board game about scamming government welfare programmes.
Entitled Public Assistance: Why Work for a Living, it was predictably banned by the US government in 1982. It’s actually quite rare now.
Most Expensive #2
Charles Hollander’s Backgammon set takes second place in our most expensive list. It features 61,000 diamonds and six kilos of yellow gold. The true price is unknown but expects it to be around five million.
The longest board game session was held in January 2022 in Gloucester, UK. Four local men played Dune for 85 hours, raising over £1000 for an Alzheimer’s Charity.
The longest developer stated time to complete a game is The Campaign for North Africa: Desert War. It has an estimated playtime of 1000+ hours. Even the designers have never finished it.