Board Game History: The Birth of the Modern Board Game

Mechanics & Meeples had been absent these last few weeks, and that’s only been partially due to the holidays. I’ve spent the last two weeks cramming to finish my first new Designers & Dragons books, which detail the history of the roleplaying industry, one company at a time.

That got me thinking of another project. A few years ago I started putting together a history of the gaming industry generally, in the same style. I only wrote a few sections, and it only came to 5000 words or so, but it’s a good start for a project I may come back to some day. To commemorate my recent work on Designers & Dragons, I thought I’d share one section with you.

The Birth of the Modern Board Game: 1820-1869

What we’d recognize as modern board games first came about as a result of the Industrial Revolution. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries technological changes resulted in new industrial techniques and in turn social changes as well. This allowed for the creation of a new genre of games supported by these various changes.

Continue reading