Since the publication of the first issue of Board Games Studies the third
Colloquium 'Board Games in Academia' was held in Florence, Italy. We are
proud to present already some of the results of this Colloquium. Researchers
have provided us again with a most interesting series of studies in a
growing field of research.
Both the Colloquium and in particular this issue of the journal reveal that
board games are not only interesting study objects but also lead to
particular research questions. The presented study of ancient Egyptian board
games is interesting in itself, but only through such a study does it appear
possible to get a better insight in Mehen, the Egyptian god of board games.
The study of the distribution of mancala is another example in this journal
and presents information on mancala games. This study enters the debate on
how distribution patterns particular to mancala should be explained. This
way, board games have become a source for research questions.
At the Colloquium, a lecture on the game of Monopoly showed the audience
that most people play Monopoly different from the official rules. This
observation appears applicable to other games. The different variations of
Rythmomachie, as presented in this issue, are a clear example, not even the
name of the game appears to be a constant. In this way a game from the
Middle Ages may show evidence of what can be found in modern commercial
games. Clearly, it is not just a variety of games and fields of research but
also coherence in research questions within in different fields that
characterises the present direction of board games studies.
Comprehensive studies of American board games and the retracing of rules of
Metromachie or terminology for Chess boards studies which can be found in
this issue are part of an increasing archive of material relevant to
understanding board games and the questions that board games generate. At
present, part of these questions appear unique to board games studies or at
least the expertise and material to get insight in these questions has a
potential which should become visible in the journal pages and colloquia of
Both the interest of researchers and that of the readers have indicated the
need and enthusiasm for this journal. The diversity in discipline, language
and materials could explain this. I prefer the explanation that board games
themselves have started to interest a variety of readers and researchers. I
hope that with this issue we can satisfy the interest of all.
Alex de Voogt