Marburg 2003 Colloquium

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Board Games Studies VI

International Symposium

Games in the sense of rule- and material-bound "board and table games" count among the oldest cultural expressions of mankind, older than all ideas and laws set down in written form, and almost as old as the earliest pictorial representations. They represent a historically evolved cultural asset, with many connections to other cultural techniques, such as performing arts, mathematics, the arts of construction and war, and also to religious and mythological conceptions.

With the increasing recognition of the importance of play for the development of humanity, scientists from the most varied specalisations are beginning to take a more intensive interest in games, their structure and effects, their cultural and social history. At the University of Leiden scientists from all over the world met for the first time in 1995 to exchange the results of their research in an inter-disciplinary symposium. Additional events concerned with this subject have since then been held, again in Leiden, and subsequently in Florence (1999), Fribourg (2001) and Barcelona (2002). The presentations made on these occasions were published in a special series "Board Game Studies" by the Center of Non-Western Studies (CNWS) in Leiden.

"Board Game Studies VI" this year again brings together researchers from all over the world to exchange their research work. The total of 24 presentations makes evident once more that games research is today conducted on an international, and at the same time inter-disciplinary level. India, which in the mean time has to a considerable extent come to be seen as the home of chess, is presented as a country which has also produced a substantial number of other board games. Irving Finkel, Curator of the British Museum in London, reports on new discoveries concerned with the Tibetan game "Sho". Other presentations bring the Indian Ocean into focus, or go more deeply into research on chess, which has in the last years become very extensive.

A particular emphasis of this year´s symposium is to turn the scientific spotlight onto contemporary games. Bernward Thole opens this part of the Symposium with the introduction of the Deutsches Spiele-Archiv (German Games Archive) as a unique site for documentation of and research into the development of games during the time since the Second World War. Further presentations are concerned with subjects including the modern institution of "game authors", the history of games in the GDR, the reception of the game "Siedler von Catan", and the use of board games in management training.

The international symposium "Board Game Studies VI" takes place between Monday 07/04/03 to Thursday 10/04/03 (end: 1 p.m.). The German Games Archive and the Institut für Vergleichende Kulturforschung, Religionswissenschaft und Völkerkunde (Faculty 03 of the Philipps University) have been commissioned with the organisation. The symposium is held under the auspices of the Lord Mayor of the city of Marburg, and is sponsored by the Jury of the Critics´ Prize "Game of the Year Award", which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. The presentations are made in public.

"Board Game Studies VI"

Date: 07/04 to 10/04/03 (End: 1 p.m.)

Location: Large auditorium in the Deutsches Haus (Deutschhausstr.10)

Contact: Deutsches Spiele-Archiv, Barfüßerstr.2 a, 35037 Marburg/Lahn, Germany

Tel: +49/(0)6421/62728, Fax: +49/(0)6421/62720


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