Games for your mind

Posts Tagged ‘Art

Lewis chess set

Ancient Lewis chess set

Currently, the oldest board game of the world is the Egyptian Senet, dated 3500 BC. Senet is mentioned in the Book of the Dead, the Egyptian funerary text which describes the afterlife believes of this ancient civility.
It was believed that winning players of Senet were protected by the tree most powerful gods of ancient Egypt: Ra, Thoth and Osiris.
The Senet is played on a bridge of thirty boxes, while on the back, a second plank of twenty boxes were used for another game called Tjau, but we don’t know with certainty the rules of the game.

king chess piece

King chess piece

Senet game board really similar to the chess one and for this reason many scholars think that this ancient Egyptian board game is the great-great-grandfather of the game of chess.
Four sets to play Senet, handmade carved in ivory, were discovered in the tomb of Tutankhamen in 1333 BC.
Another ancient board game is the chess set of the Scottish island of Lewis, consisting of 78 pieces of Nordic origin made with Ivory and whale bones. The Isle of Lewis Chess Set is a really piece of games archaeology and dates back to the twelfth century (1150-1170 AD) and perhaps, it is the only examples to date of existing medieval chess. Read the rest of this entry »

Royal-GameIn 1920 British archaeologist Sir Charles Leonard Woolley, during some excavations in the Royal Cemetery of Ur in Mesopotamia, found the rests of a Royal tomb full of ancient and beautiful finds.

In this mausoleum Wodley discovered several incredibly well conserved exemplars of an ancient board game.

This artefact was called the Royal Game of Ur and was made more than 2600 years before Christ:

The Royal Game of Ur is one of the oldest board game in history and is composed by two decorated boards and two different sets of seven pieces each.

This incredible piece of game’s history is part of the British Museum’s Mesopotamia collection and was played with pyramidal dices.

Like the Faraons’ board game named Senet, the Royal Game of Ur was a race board game in which the players had to reach the other end of the board with their pieces.

This game had a mistyc power for Ancient Sumers; they  believed that the dead person must play The Royal Game of Ur vs a spiritual entity in order to acess the reign of death.

This ancient Sumerian game can be played on the British Museum’s Mesopotamia website.sumer-map

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Art,gaming, recreational activities, interaction with the artefacts and a lot of fun all in one great exhibition at the Tate Modern Gallery of London.

Bodymotionspacesthings, born from creative thought of Robert Morris, is the ultimate great art installation in the Tate Modern Gallery of London.

The visitor can use in a recreational way all the installations of the artist and play in a sort of art in progress path, an endless game where people are a part of a bigger artistic creation always different because manipulated by its users.

In Robert Morris recreational art installation, you can climb, you can run, drift and jump while you are contemplating a fascinating art creation, a game which always includes everyone in its artistic representation.

Due to the big success of Bodymotionspacesthings, Tate Modern Gallery extended the exhibition until 14 June 2009 and the entrance is free!

I recommend this clever gaming experience to everyone!

To get an Idea of what Bodymotionspacesthings really is watch this video and have some fun!

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John_Lennon_mind_gamesToday I would like to make a tribute to a music legend of the past: John Lennon, probably one of the greatest artist of the last century, and to one of his best soloist songs:  Mind Games, which is also the title  of the album released in 1973 that bring back John Lennon‘s music on the emotional Pop-Rock sound.

Mind Games is not so famous like Imagine or other big hits of Lennon, but I think it’s one of the most interesting Lennon’s soloist works. Originally entitled make “Make Love, Not War”, like the famous  slogan against the war in Vietnam, Mind Games is another masterpiece deeply related to the  pacifist hymn “Give Peace A Chance”.

Mind Games stands for the possibility of use our own brightness to change the world, like Lennon did, using his fame to protest against the war and defend world peace. Mind Games is another great artistic prove of Lennon‘s commitment, explicitly declared in the last ironic sentence of the song: I want you to make love, not war, I know you’ve heard it before.

Games for your mind is all about that feeling so well expressed in this beautifull song: love not war, education not violence, free thoughts not  manipulation,  fair play not romp.

Playing  Clever games together today to paint a brighter  tomorrow!

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chess_historyIn history, the game of chess was always played by great leaders, scientists artist and geniuses.

Probably, leaders like Stalin; Lenin, Napoleon and Wellington, liked the game for the strategy and the war practices involved to defeat the opponent; maybe famous scientist like Benjamin Franklin, Galileo, Mendelejev, Blathy, Einstein, Oppenheimer appreciated the mind-game strategy and probabilities calculations; perhaps great writers such as Cervantes, Rabelais, Jean-Jacques Rosseau,Voltaire, Goethe, Sir Walter Scott, Edgar Allan Poe, Marx, Dickens, Tolstoi, Pierre Loti, Gide, Gorkij, Nabokov, Borges, loved the inner and unexpected plots development in the game, like a different version of an infinite ongoing saga; perchance painters like Matisse, Magritte, Duchamp, Ernst, loved the perfect forms and the symbolism of the pieces, combined with the chess board to form a perfect and always different artwork. We don’t know exactly why chess is so popular among intellectuals, but the fact is that since old times this incredible game has always had a fascinating power.

History is full of game anecdotes and famous challenges, like the famous dare between Albert Einstein vs Robert Julius Oppenheimer in Princeton in 1933. Einstein loved chess and after the publication of a pamphlet called “One Hundred Authors Against Einstein”, in which relativity theory was harshly criticized from those who believed that the speed of light was limited, the great physician answered in this way: “Chess grips its exponent, shackling the mind and brain so that the inner freedom and independence of even the strongest character cannot remain unaffected.”
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Board games have millennial history and have been played in a lot of cultures and societies.
The oldest board game in the world is Senet appeared in ancient Egypt in 3300 b.C.
Senet was very popular in the land of Pharaohs, especially among nobles and rich people, like this unique exemplar of this mysterious board game, inscribed with name of Pharaoh AmunhotepIII, is well preserved at the New York Brooklyn Museum.
senetboard-inscribedwithnameofamunhotepiii
The rules are still unknown to  but a lot of Egyptologist, think that Senet is an old ancestor of chess with its two different kind of pieces (maybe it was for two players) and its special squares in the board (the ones with the hieroglyphics inscriptions).
Senet was something like, the Ancient Egipt National games and became soon a mystic and religious object too: Egyptians believed that dead people had to play Senet against an invisible opponent to enter the reign of the dead. Many Senet playing tables in wood and ivory, with  drawers for the pieces under the board, were found  in  Tutankhamon  grave.
senet_boardgame
Nefertari too liked this board game, in this picture she was playing Senet.

nefertari-playing-senet

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You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.
(Plato)

Toys existed since ancient times because the man always had a deep relation with toys.

gi_joe1poupee_barby

A lot of toys discovered in some archeological sites around the world are dolls and toy soldiers, the old ancestor of Barby and G.I. Joes.

800px-roman-toysHistory of toys follows the development of human society , ancient toys where made of wood, stone or clay, like old tools.
In ancient Egypt little girls had porcelain dolls with fake hairs and kids of ancient Rome used to play with fake arches and wood swords.
Even the yo-yo has old origins, the firsts were made in wood in Cina more than 2500 years ago and in Greece, yo yo, decorated with divinities images, were very popular in 500 b.C.
Incas finds too,  show the love of this culture for toys like wooden circles and well shaped dolls. Medieval games where made of woods: in this period were invented the famous rocking-horse and the miniature playhouses.
In late  Middle Ages, can be tracked the origins of handmade wood toys for nobles children.
Wood toy manufactory is a real art and rare, ancient wood toys became part of hig value collections. There are collectors ready to spend thousands of dollars for a small wooden toy.

city-in-a-bag-prNowadays, a lot of small companies are specialized in wooden toys manufactory, making great and stylish old fashion products, like
London city in a bag here.

this means that old fashion games are still desired from children all over the world.

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