Games afoot: The world of board games

Han dynasty earthenware figures playing liubo ( Met, NY) (© Wikimedia)

Why do people play board games? Who invents them? What makes a game so good it is played for thousands of years, while others flop? In this programme, we meet Paul Clark, who has just launched his own labyrinthine game Krabcek. We visit the annual Essen International Games Fair. We also speak in New York with the owners of one of the world’s most valuable liubo sets. Liubo, like so many of the world’s most famous board games, including chess and checkers, has its roots in ancient Oriental culture. A survey of the history, psychology and technology of the world of board games.

Producer: Laura Durnford

Broadcast: 2005