Barcelona 2002 Colloquium

--{ Barcelona 2002 }--

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Board Games in Academia V


James L. Polczynski

An Evolution of the Modern Board War Game

The birth of the modern board war game is attributed to the Avalon Hill game company in the United Sates in the 1950s. This paper examines various proprietary games produced primarily in the United States and England from the early 1900s until 1953. Focus centers on the concepts expressed in the game designs and the mechanisms used to execute the designs. These are then mapped onto the modern board war game. The modern board war game is described more in terms of the next "logical" progression in a long evolutionary tract, than in terms of a distinct break from traditional designs. The proprietary board game market is directed to the populace and intended to realize a profit. It is interesting to study the efforts of various game designers as they must have struggled to translate the complexities of actual war and conflict into the compact form of the board game and have it be manageable to play.

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