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The four board game eras: Making sense of board gaming’s past

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The history of board games stretches back into pre-history presenting a challenge for examining the full sweep of the medium’s past. In response this article suggests a way of dividing board gaming’s past into four broad phases or eras. These eras are defined by primarily by shifts in production processes rather than game design choices or player tastes. Drivers of each era discussed include intellectual property law, mass-scale printing, plastics and online developments such as crowdfunding. Examples of what games align with which era are given. The article also explores the relationship between video games and board games. The strong influence of board games on early video games is explored as is the question of why relatively few ideas transfer from video games back into board games.
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Keywords: board games; computer games; game design; game rules; intellectual property; video games

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Independent Author

Publication date: October 1, 2018

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  • The Catalan Journal of Communication and Cultural Studies (CJCS) is committed to publishing research and theoretical articles in the fields of media studies, popular culture and cinema, public relations and advertising studies, social communication, new media, language uses in the media, communication and cultural policies, social and national identities, gender studies, sports and leisure, tourism and heritage, among other related issues. CJCS publishes double blind peer-reviewed articles and its aims and scope cover not only Catalan media and cultural systems but also other social contexts.
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