Studies Issue 2

--{ Editorial }--

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  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 our field.

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

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