Ludus Latrunculorum. Senet. Chaturanga. And don't forget Hnefatafl. These were just some of the board games that ancient people were into thousands of years ago. Over at Smithsonian, Meilan Solly explains "The Best Board Games of the Ancient World." From the magazine:
The rules of Mehen remain unclear, as the game faded from popularity following the decline of Egypt’s Old Kingdom and is sparsely represented in the archaeological record.
Writing in 1990, Egyptologist Peter A. Piccione explained, “Based upon what we know of this game ... the feline game pieces moved in a spiral along the squares, apparently, from the tail on the outside to the head of the serpent at the center.” The spherical, marble-like tokens may have been similarly rolled through the “longer spiralling grooves.”
In Patolli, a gambling game invented by the early inhabitants of Mesoamerica, players raced to move pebbles from one end of a cross-shaped track to the other. Drilled beans used as dice dictated gameplay, but the exact rules of “entry and movement” remain unknown, as Parlett notes in the Oxford History of Board Games.
Among the Aztecs, Patolli held unusually high stakes, with participants wagering not just physical goods or currency, but their own lives. As Diego Durán, a Dominican friar who authored a 16th-century tome on Aztec history and culture, explained, “At this and other games the Indians not only would gamble themselves into slavery, but even came to be legally put to death as human sacrifices.”
Images from top down: "Senet from the Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund; "Mehen" by Anagoria (CC BY 3.0); "Patoli" from the Book of the Gods and Rites and the Ancient Calender by Friar Diego Durán (Public Domain)
“NVIDIA GameGAN is a powerful new AI model created by NVIDIA Research and was trained on 50,000 episodes of PAC-MAN to produce a fully functional version of the classic without an underlying game engine.” Read the article about it was done here. Image: Nvidia
You’ve probably seen a biosphere ecosystem before. It’s a glass orb filled with water, some aquatic plants, and some small animals like freshwater shrimp. The only input to the otherwise closed system is sunlight, and the goal is to keep the lifeforms inside the glass sphere going as long as possible. When I was at […]
Graham Dunning replaced all of the Half-Life in-game sounds with clips of 90s EDM tracks and rave music sample CDs. He basically turned the entire game into a Launchpad so he can play Half-Life like it’s a techno orchestra. (via Waxy)
Promoting products is almost nothing like it was back in the Mad Men days. In fact, the digital landscape has changed the ad game so much that it barely even resembles early Grey’s Anatomy days anymore. Marketing a product digitally isn’t about the right ad slogan or color scheme. It’s about crafting the narrative around […]
Every once in a while, we see a new product come along that’s so versatile and elegantly simple that it’s strange no one’s ever gone there before. Portable lights themselves aren’t new, but there’s something about the MOGICS Coconut Light that’s so seamlessly well-designed and adaptable that it feels startlingly original. The Coconut is basically […]
With the U.S. cautiously reopening, it’s probably time to take stock of where you’re at. After spending all these weeks in the house, you’ve likely already assembled a little list of items you either realized you were missing or need to replace. And those kinds of revelations probably apply to nearly every room. We got […]