Games for your mind

Posts Tagged ‘Human Interest

scrabble-pieces

scrabble one of the most popular games in US

Scrabble is probably one of the most famous board games ever invented with over 100 million sets sold in all the world.

Today everyone knows Scrabble and have played this linguistic clever game once at least, but few people know the real story of its invention.

In fact not everyone knows that Scrabble before becoming a famous board game was first a commercial flop.

Year 1931; The city of Poughkeepsie, upstate New York, was facing the worst years of the great depression. This was the situation when an architect, Alfred Mosher Butts, lost his job and decided to devote himself to his biggest passion: board games and words. Soon Butts decided to invent a board game to play with words and improve the linguistic skills of the player. Towards the end of 1931 Butts had already developed the basic idea of the board game, which was initially called Lexico.  This game was initially played without the board and players calculated their scores according to the length of the words formed. There were also reward points for words formed with less frequent letters (B, F, H, M, P, V, W, Y) and bonus points even higher for those containing unusual letters (J, K, Q, X, Z).

In 1933, Butts tied to register the trademark of is new board game but his request was denied. Similarly, when he proposed the new board game to the two top gaming company In United States, (Parker Brothers and Milton Bradley), he received only a polite refuse.

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Rubik's-cube-variationsThe Rubik’s Cube is a famous visual logic game and a really complicate puzzle invented by Hungarian sculptor and architect Ernő Rubik in 1974.

Originally called Magic Cube from its inventor, this visual logic game was renamed Rubik’s Cube and marketed by Ideal Toys in 1980 and soon became one of the best-selling game in history, with about 300 million units sold.
A lot of people went mad trying to solve the Rubik’s cube because it’s one of the hardest visual logic puzzle ever invented, and if you suffer of anger attacks this puzzle game is definitely not for you.
You may have a Nervous Breakdown!

Rubik’s cube solution involves a long and complicated logic method, but if you want a quicker way to solve it you can check this website clicking here.

You must select the colours and recreate your puzzle in the Rubik’s cube solver and the game is done in few moves. With this program solve this intricate puzzle game is really easy.
No matter how bad you’ve messed up with your cube, with this little help you will to find the way out and win.
So now you can easily impress your boss or show off with your friends…

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green toys

green toys

Ecofriendly gifts could be a great way to teach children an ecologic view.
I think that everyone of us knows how important are renewable energies to reduce the earth pollution and try to preserve our ecosystem.
Now days there are a lot of  ecofriendly gifts that work with solar energy and can be given to kids to introduce them to the ecological issues of our society.
Increase the energy standards in our cities and  change the way we produce Energy may be a too deep arguments for a child, but giving him an ecofriendly game powered by small photovoltaic cells could give the children the opportunity to familiarize with their future.
It’s not just about the battery savings or the fact that ecofriendly gifts are even cheaper than traditional ones, it’s about teaching something important to our children.
This is the real added value of these products:  When our son will ask us “how works this object?”, we will respond “with the sun” and we’ll explain the solar energy concept
In my opinion this is something highly positive for a child.
Maybe solar gifts will not be able to solve the global warming, but every little helps… and probably teaching an ecologic approach to the life to our children could help them to succeed tomorrow in what we’re failing today:  preserve our beloved and beautiful planet earth.

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Eco friendly gifts for him and her

Ecology and eco-friendly gifts

Jacob L. Moreno

Jacob L. Moreno

The term role-playing game has roots in the history of psychology.
In fact, The first to coin the term “Role Play” was Jacob L. Moreno in 1934, after experimenting in 1921 the “theatre of spontaneity”.

Jacob Levy Moreno was a leading psychiatrist, thinker and educator and has been recognized as one of the pioneer of group psychotherapy.

In 1930 Moreno emigrated to the United States and began to develop the technique of psychodrama which is still used in psychotherapy: in the psychodrama technique the patient has to recall and act (like he is on a stage) a past conflict he had against someone.

Then the roles are switched and the patient plays the part of his opponent to try to understand what the other person has felt in that occasion.

But this first sense of the word role-play has no relation with the role play intended as recreational activity, derived from war–games. dungeons and dragons

The role-playing games were played for the first time in the late sixties at the University of Minnesota war-game society.
In 1971, one student Gary Gygax developed in  a war-game with medieval setting called Chainmail, wich become very popular among all Minnesota undergratduates.

But was only in 1974, when Gygax and his mate Dave Arneson invented and released the first edition of Dungeons & Dragons that that role-playing games became worldwide famous.
For this reason, D & D is considered the first modern role-playing game and had a lot of influence on later role-playing games.

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Knights Templars

Knights Templars

The triple wall is the pattern of the popular board game called  Nine Men’s Morris in England,  Morabaraba in South Africa, Naukhadi in India, Molenspiel in Germany and Jeu de Moulin in France. The triple square symbol was find in Italy, UK, Ireland and Afghanistan and in a lot other regions of the Middle East engraved or painted in holy places for Christianity and Islam.
The aim of the Nine Men’s Morris is to form a row of three pieces along the board’s lines and leave the opposing player with no moves.

This is the playing function of this geometric concentric figure, but  we can find the same pattern in ancient churches and in the Chinon tower in  France, engraved on the walls by Templar Knights kept prisoners during the Middle Ages.

Some researchers suggest that this geometric draw could be the symbol of an ancient and esoteric ritual made by  knights Templars.

the triple square symbol

the triple square symbol

Triple square France

The triple square symbol engraved in a French cavern

For example,  René Guénon, affirm that this symbol represent, in ancient religous rituals, a sort of holy centre where the world energies can reach the right power to involve a man’s mind on a mystic level.
The origins of the triple square are still unknown but without any reasonable doubt we can say that its symbolism is related to the centre and the balance of the world and the human spheres represented by the pieces of the game have to converge to find the perfect equilibrium.
The geometric scheme of the Nine Men’s Morris game represent the route that men have to follow to find themselves without lose the right way in unethical directions. In this sense the triple square has a manicheistic meanining  deeply related to the Middle Ages religious symbolism.
God is the origin and the centre of all the universe and everything has to point in His direction; it’s clear in this interpretation the religious and ethical meaning of this symbol directly derived from the holy circle used by ancient civilizations of the far East to show the solar wheel also called the wheel of life.

Solar Wheel

Assyrian Solar Wheel

All those clues made the researchers think that the symbol of the triple square in the Middle Ages was not used as a game but as a religious symbol and only after several years this geometric pattern was used as the board of the game known with the name of  Nine Men’s Morris.

Nine Men’s Morris game

The Nine Men’s Morris game derived from the triple square symbol

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Mesoamerican-ball-game

Modern reproduction of the ancient Mesoamerican ball game

The Mesoamerican ball game was a sport practiced by ancient Pre-Columbian cultures of Central America.
More than 3000 years ago The Mesoamerican ball game was very popular, the Maya called it pitsl, the Aztec name was ullamaliztl, but the game is the same.
This game was played with heavy rubber balls in open ended ball courts of different size with two vertical stone rings, one for each side of the court.
The aim of the game was to pass the ball in the stone goal and score the point.
We don’t know exactly the rules of this anciet game, but we know that Mesoamerican ball game could be really violent. In fact some games were played just for fun and recreation, some others were part of a ritual involving human sacrifice; for this occasions the game was played in Huge ball courts by two team of captives and the losers were sacrificed in a mystic/religious ritual.
The importance of the Mesoamerican ball game in ancient Pre-Columbian society is proved by  all the diufferent use this game by the Maya: the ball game was used as a recreational sport, as part of a spiritual ritual and as well to solve the disputes among tribes and prevent the warfare.

A Maya mural found in El Tajin, showing the sacrifice of a ballplayer.

Sometimes head of tribes play (but was more like a fight) the ball game to re-establish tribes hierarchy, and impose supremacy; this game was so important because it was like a social conflicts relief valve, it was a place where the disputes could be solved with a ball game match instead of a battle.
Probably the spiritual symbolism behind the ball game is the reason of the human sacrifices: the bal represents the sun and the scoring rings the sunrise; the solar movement is tied on fertility and the sacrifice of the player is the ritual of the death and the reborn of the sun. The game was a battle between day and night, born and death, life and the underworld.

This video is a modern reproduction of the ancient Mesoamerican ball game and of the Maya ball game rituals

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Aristotle-PlatoIn ancient Greece, board games where very popular, especially among the philosophers and their pupils. Plato once said “You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation”.
Hellenistic culture gave a lot of importance to games, ancient Greeks invented the Olympics and athletes were considered like heroes.
Philosopher used to teach their scholars using linguistic game and games simulations; philosophy itself was a form of game: to quote Plato once again Philosophy is “like playing an hard game”.
Like Dutch philosopher  J. Huizinga suggests In his book ”Homo ludens” all the stages and the development of philosophy manifest a recreational linguistic activity  in its deep essence: Philosophic rhetoric play  on words during the debates and the clash between the debaters assumed in public speeches the form of a win or lose game. Even in the written form, many ancient Greeks script are a sophistic game of question an answer.
Word games and speech competitions where a sort of recreational activity, used by Hellenic people to shape and rule their ancient society.The winners of those linguistic games where often famous philosophers like Aristotle, Socrates and Plato, great politicians like Themistocles and genial playwrights like Aristophanes.

This fundamental role of playing activities in the Hellenistic culture is manifested also in the Mythology, like in the Myth of  Theseus and the Minotaur.
The Labyrinth and the Theseus myth seems like a perfect representation of a gaming scenario that today could be easily used to develop a videogame:labirint-game Theseus (the player) must overcome different stages in a labyrinth scenario to fight and defeat the final Minotaur monster.
The connection between this myth and gaming was so strong that ancient Greeks invented a board game version of this myth called “labyrinth”, a  game for two, three or four players.
Like in the original Myth, the gameboard represents the labyrinth of King Minos where the monster half men and half animal is trapped. The player acting as Theseus must save the youths Athenians  sent as tribute to King Minos who used them to feed the Minotaur.
Each player has 4 pawns, one for each youth Athenian, the first player to bear off all the pieces at the centre of the board is the winner because, like Theseus, he has saved all the youths Athenians from certain death.

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The training options that a company has for an effective personnel training include various topics:
– Play an active role
– Release a best share compared to its potential
– Get a better personal satisfaction
– Socialize on collective course to reach the knowledge
This attitude is encouraged by the needs and the goals of collective courses of corporate training.
Edutainment are developed and created to stimulate an independent learning attitude among employers (lifelong learning), through funny and pleasant experiences.
The neologism Edutainment comes from the fusion of the words “education” and “entertainment” and define the action of instruct and socialize one or more person using an entertainment form of communication.
Simulation games are built to explore different alternatives about individual and group behaviours in different micro or macro markets and work environments.
Simulations games spread the technical business knowledge and favour the active integration about corporate objectives,
In particular role games and Lifelong learning are created to encourage people to enjoy their life and work time and, above of all, to get the most out of any activity they ‘re involved in.
The video below shows a role game organized by an important company to build the corporate group; employers become, in the games simulation, members of a fictional army wich must act like in a warfield.

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Recreational attitude has an eclectic and a multiform nature, a fluid ad dynamic structure that can change anytime when different inputs or actions are involved in the game.
Games dynamics studies have to focus their attention on social and psychological aspects involved during the games’ performances.
During a football game, a tennis match, a chess game, or just during hide and seek always important aspects of the human nature are involved and challenged.
This is the reason why For social science and psychology these gaming situation are an important field of study and represent an opportunity to develop theories and experimental games for study purposes.
For example games, role playing and recreational activities are widely used in management training and Human resource assessments with great results.
During special types of psychological games is very difficult to fake and that’s why H&R experts can understand a lot about a person after few minutes of playing.
Games are important for team building and mutual trust development.
An example of team building game to develop in few time mutual trust among members of a new group is the game of the fall:
Each member step on a chair, flop down backwards and the other members of the team take him and lift him up.
there are a lot of different trust games that can be played for an educational and proactive approach to team building studies, in this video a youth group of scholars play the trust game falling from the teacher’s desk.
This is a good school!

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Sudoku-puzzleThe Sudoku puzzle is a logic and number based brain teaser. Sudoku puzzle was nicknamed the Rubic’s cube of the 20th century because to solve it you don’t need to be a math genius, but you will need just a lot of logic and, above all, so much patience.
Is a common belief that the Sudoku puzzle was bron in Japan in 1984, but, actually, this brain teaser has its roots deeply related to the ancient “Latin’s cubes” created in the eighteenth century by the Swiss mathematician Euler.
After two centuries, in the seventies, the Sudoku puzzle was recovered by few math and brain teasers lovers.
In the eighties the Sudoku game became very popular in Japan and in a meanwhile it the Sudoku mania spread all over the world.
In fact, at the end of the seventies on the magazine “Math puzzles and logic problems”, Dell New York publishing proposed “number place”: A brain teaser based on compositions rules of the Latin’s cubes.
The aim of the Sudoku puzzle is to fill with numbers from 1 to 9 the 9×9 grid, divided to 3×3 sub grids called “regions”.
Some of the grid cells of the Sudoku puzzle are already filled with numbers, the payer must fill the other empty cells to solve the puzzle respecting the following rules:

  • Number can appear only once on each row;
  • Number can appear only once on each column.

This brain teasers was proposed in Japan in 1984 on the Monthly Nikolist magazine with the name of Sunji Wa Dokushin Ni kagiru wich means only single numbers. This long name was soon changed in Su(numbers) and doku(single).
The modern Sudoku puzzle as we all know it was born.
In the 12 November 2004, the English Times of London published the first Sudoku puzzle for the frist time in UK,  since then this brain teaser became widely popular all over the world and now is published on magazines and newspapers of more than 20 nations.
Now that you know everything about the Sudoku, try to solve this famous brain teaser, starting with the one in this article or trying this new web Sudoku generator.

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