David Parlett looks at the different families of games: games based on configuration or connection, races or chases, wars or hunts, capture or blockade. He focuses mainly on traditional games, the folk entertainments that have grown up organically through the centuries, and which exhibit endless local variations, although he discusses also the commercial products that have tried, with varying degrees of success, to match their astonishing popularity.This is not primarily a how-to book, although the rules and strategies of certain games are discussed in detail, neither does it offer sure-fire tips for success, although with a fuller understanding of a game the reader will undoubtedly become a better-informed, if not a better, player. Rather, it is an affectionate and authoritative survey of one of the most familiar parts of our cultural history, which has until now been inexplicably neglected.
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