Session 6a: Tracing History, cont. – University of Copenhagen

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Session 6a: Tracing History, cont.

Uneven Forces: Asymmetrical Games

Fri 19 May, 10:30 - 11:00 (KUA3, Room 4A.0.69)

Bruce Whitehill
Games Historian & Game Developer, Eickeloh, Germany

Most games are endeavors in which all players are given the same materials and have access to the same resources. However, sometimes the competing forces are uneven – but not necessarily unequal. These asymmetrical games – which have existed for centuries – can take on a number of forms:

  1. A two-player game in which each player has a different number of playing pieces and a different objective;
  2. A two-player game in which players have the same pieces (more rare) but the movement and objectives are different;
  3. A multi-player game in which at least one player has different objectives than the others.

This presentation offers an overview of these different types of asymmetrical games, from hnefatafl, the "Viking Game," popular in Scandinavia in the fifth century, to the international game of Siege, to games released in the past couple of years, such as the two-player Raptor and multi-player Not Alone. The research also examines the cultural differences between similar games, or, in fact, games that have identical play but whose themes are slightly different. For example, fox & geese in England is the same as tiger & goats in Nepal and linked to such variations as wolf & sheep and cows & leopards.

Bruce Whitehill is the foremost historian of American games; his book, Games: American Games and Their Makers, 1822-1992, is considered the most authoritative work on the history of American game companies ever published. His later book (2004), Americanopoly – A View of America Through its Games, looks at the history and culture of the United States as depicted in the themes and images on games from the 1840s into the 21st century. Mr Whitehill's writing has appeared in encyclopedias and in international journals, as well as in cultural and collector magazines in the US and Europe.  He was the senior editor of Games Annual magazine, the associate editor of the international magazine, Games Games Games, published in England, and the senior contributor of Knucklebones game magazine. Mr. Whitehill now writes a regular column for the English edition of Spielbox (games) magazine.

Having completed his MA coursework (San Francisco State University) in cross-cultural communication, Mr. Whitehill explores the role of games in education, leisure, and family life. He writes about games as a reflection of culture, and examines the similarities and differences between games in different societies.

The Royal Pastime of Cupid: Two Early English Association Copies

Fri 19 May, 11:00 - 11:30 (KUA3, Room 4A.0.69)

Eddie Duggan
Senior Lecturer, Department of Science and Technology, University of Suffolk, UK

This paper will review several well-known English examples of The Royal Pastime of Cupid or the Entertaining Game of the Snake and also present two early and lesser-known association copies, both printed in London by John Garrett.

The R. H. Laurie print, dated c. 1850, is well known. The V&A website notes the transfer of stock between the various owners of the business at 53 Fleet Street, suggesting Laurie's 1850 print uses Robert Sayer's 1750 plate with the imprimatur updated. Whitehouse (1951) includes Sayer's Royal Pastime of Cupid in his "list of games known to have been published"; however, it has not been possible to locate Sayer's 1750 print although a Carington Bowles print, dated ca. 1765, was sold by a dealer in Tennessee.

Several 1794 examples are known: the Bodleian has a Laurie & Whittle print, and another "printed and sold by William Dicey at his printing office in Bow Church-Yard London". A third, attributed to Laurie & Whittle, bears the imprint "Printed & sould by John Garrett at his shop next ye stayers of ye Royall Exchange in Cornhill".

John Garrett is also the printer of two earlier and less-well known association copies. One, dated to 1700, belonged to George Clarke (1661-1736) and is in the George Clarke Print Collection at Worcester College, Oxford. The other, dated 1690, was owned by Narcissus Luttrell (1657-1732) and is part of the Bute Broadside collection in the Houghton Library at Harvard.

Eddie Duggan is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Science and Technology at the University of Suffolk, where he contributes to undergraduate teaching on the BA (Hons) Computer Games Design course. He organised the XVII Board Game Studies Colloquium in 2014 and recently co-edited the proceedings of the 2014 colloquium, published by Associação Ludus in 2016. His 2015 BGS XVIII presentation on pervasive games has been expanded into a book chapter, published by Springer.

Select Publications
Duggan, E. (2017) "Spintriae: Evidence for Historic Games". Presentation to Heritage Futures Research Seminar, University of Suffolk, Ipswich. 1 March 2017. <>.

Duggan, E. (2017) "Squaring the (Magic) Circle: A Brief Definition and History of Pervasive Games" in A. Nijholt (ed.) Playable Cities: The City as Digital Playground. Springer. Singapore, pp. 111-135. <>.

Duggan, E. & D. W. J. Gill (eds.) (2016) From Cardboard to Keyboard: Proceedings of the XVII Annual Colloquium of the International Board Game Studies Association. UCS Ipswich 21-24 May 2014. Associação Ludus. Lisbon. <>.

Duggan, E. (2016) "Strange Games: some Iron Age examples of a four-player board game?" in E. Duggan & D. W. J. Gill (eds.) From Cardboard to Keyboard: Proceedings of the XVII Annual Colloquium of the International Board Game Studies Association. UCS Ipswich 21-24 May 2014. Associação Ludus. Lisbon, pp. 77-101. <>.

Duggan, E. (2016) "Stranger Games: The Life and Times of the Spintriae". Presentation to XIX Annual International Board Game Studies Colloquium, German Games Archive, Nuremburg. 13–16 April 2016. <>.

Duggan, E. (2015) "Strange Games: some Iron Age examples of a four-player board game?" in Board Game Studies Journal 9, pp. 17-40. <>.

Duggan E. (2015) "Off the Board: A Brief Definition and History of Pervasive Games". Paper presented to XVIII Annual International Board Game Studies Colloquium, Swiss Museum of Games, La Tour-de-Peilz, Switzerland. 15–18 April 2015. <>.

Metropolis: The First Real Sci-Fi Game

Fri 19 May, 11:30 - 12:00 (KUA3, Room 4A.0.69)

Fred Horn
Game Collector & Inventor, Den Haag, Netherlands

In July 2016 I saw an add on the selling site "Marktplaats" for the game Metropolis.
This game has been in my Collection for years, but the interesting part in the add was what was said about the origin of the game: "Very unique boardgame, designed by my father (I can prove this) in the 70s."

At most the "provable authorship" urged me to contact the seller, who turned out to be Mrs Ellis de Jager, a daughter of the author.

After meeting Jaap de Jager, he was willing to tell about the history of the game and what kind of troubles he had experienced in the process of bringing the game on the market.

My friend Rian van Meeteren, founder of the Dutch game association Ducosim, pointed to Rob Zielschot as the one who was in fact the driving force behind the development of the game.

The production and the promotion of the game was contracted to the firm Barnett from the Hague. In the process, this firm prooved to be not only unreliable but in the end also swindlers.

My talk will tell the complete story of the development and the history of the game Metropolis.

Fred Horn was born in Amsterdam on January 13, 1945. When he was four years old his parents moved to the Hague, and during his lifetime Fred changed places between these two cities. Once more he is now residing in the Hague. He is married since 1969.

During his youth Fred played a lot of games with friends and family. At the age of eight he invented his first game called Cardo. In high school he started collecting games, at first mostly focused on abstract strategic games. Later his interest widened into games manufactured, invented or sold in Holland, thus building through the years a large collection. In 2009 he donated the entire collection (about 10.000 items) to the Vlaams Spellenarchief in Bruges, Belgium, where it is now documented  and made available for everyone on their web-site.

After Cardo, Fred kept on inventing games now and then for his friends and for his own fun. After meeting Niek Neuwahl in 1995, he became inspired to do more with his ideas, and at the moment nearly 30 of his games are published. On the shelves are more than 100 ideas waiting for the right moment.

In January 2012 the Dutch game association Ducosim renewed their organization of the "Nederlandse Spellen Prijs" (Dutch Game Award), and Fred was elected chairman of the jury for 3 years.

His focus on specifically Dutch games keeps him busy with what he calls "Modern Archaeology": digging in archives and files and getting information from still living people about the history and the inventors of Dutch-related games.

In the last ten years he has published articles of his findings in Dutch and international magazines.

Select Publications (Games)
By Clemens Gerhards: Citadella & Parallelo.

By Steffen Spiele: Kwinty (part of Blocks) & Da Capo (part of Copa).

By ORIGEM, Brazil: Agilidade.

By XIN-DAO: Cardo & 50-Games-Box.

By Nova Carta: Zipher, Lange Jan (Langer Lulatsch) & Memory Moments.

By Zvezda, Russia: Elven-Castle.