Gamers unite for International Tabletop Day which lands on June 1. We’re excited to go all-in for our favorite games! Tabletop games have been played for years and they’ve evolved over the centuries. Battleship, for example, started on paper and in the original it included land areas and water. As time went on, it entered the third dimension as a vertical toy, and then went on to become one of the first computer games.
History of International Tabletop Day
In 3100 B.C. the game of Senet became popular, especially with Egyptian royalty. The game board had thirty squares with symbols that were either good or bad fortune. They believed that depending on which symbols the players landed on would decide their fate outside of the game. If a player was successful it would mean that they were in the favor of their gods and it would be a determining factor in their journey through the afterlife.
The oldest tabletop game that has virtually remained the same was a game remarkably similar to backgammon. It was called Ludus duodecim scriptorum, “the game of twelve markings”, and it was played during the Roman Empire. Much like the modern version, the object is to bear off all of your checkers. The main difference was that there were three dice instead of two.
In 1903, One of America’s first board game designers, Lizzie Magie, created The Land Lord’s game where players traveled around a square game board and bought property. In 1935, she sold her patent to Parker Brothers and it has since been known as Monopoly. From then on, Parker Brothers has become synonymous with board games such as Sorry!, Risk, and Trivial Pursuit.
Fantasy tabletop gaming arose in the post-Lord of the Rings world as Dungeons & Dragons was first published in 1974 by TSR Inc. and tabletop gaming expanded into all different arenas. Games of strategy, adventure, board games, and games based on popular franchises flourished and refused to quit. In 2013, International Tabletop Day was created as a result of the web series “Tabletop” hosted by famous gamers, Will Wheaton and Felicia Day, to celebrate gamers and to play board games with thousands of gaming events held around the globe.