History of Chutes and Ladders

March 7, 2017

 

A game that Americans have been playing for less than 100 years is almost 1,000 years old!  Chutes and Ladders started out as a game to help children learn about the dangers of sin. The game was originally called Snakes and Ladders with the ladders representing negative feelings that took you further from Nirvana (known as Heaven in the Christian Faiths) while the ladders represented good feelings that took you closer.

 

This game is said to have been invented sometime between 1200 and 1300 AD in India. Each square represented a "house". The original game had many more vices than virtues, this imbalance was changed as the game moved into England. Some of the names and types of vices and virtues were also changed to more properly align with the morals and beliefs of the Victorian Era.

 

A rather simple game to play, this game requires a board, die, and tokens. Roll the die, move your tokens the appropriate number of spaces. If you land on a space with a ladder or snake take the path up the ladder or down the snake. The first player to Nirvana wins!

 

http://quatr.us/india/games/#topbar

http://www.museumofgaming.org.uk/documents/Newsletter2.pdf

http://www.tradgames.org.uk/games/Moksha-Patamu.htm

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