Image by Flickr.com user Becky Bokern, used under Creative Commons license
The hobby games I cover here typically put the geek in MTV Geek, but sometimes, it’s worth taking a pause to celebrate the classics. Not every game has goblins and barbarians, or spaceships and lasers. Today, we’re throwing the spotlight on dominoes, the set of pipped tiles that can be used to play a centuries-old abstract strategy game or just set up so you can watch them all fall down.
Dominoes have just been inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame, joining such games as Monopoly, Scrabble, The Game of Life, and other classics Checkers and Marbles. This year’s other National Toy Hall of Fame inductee wasn’t a game, but was still something of interest to MTV Geek readers: Star Wars action figures.
From the National Toy Hall of Fame’s press release, a little bit of history on Dominoes:
Dominoes, cousins of playing cards and dice, are one of the oldest known tools for game play. Originating in China in the 1300s, the game later appeared in Europe in a slightly different form. The earliest official written mention of this game came during the Yuan Dynasty in China, during the reign of Kublai Khan, sometime after 1270 AD. Some believe Italian missionaries to China brought the game back with them to Europe, where it became one of the most popular games of the mid-18th century. The game’s name originates from the French domino, a priest’s winter hood, which was white on the inside and black on the outside. A standard set of 28 dominoes represents all possible results when rolling a pair of six-sided dice—with the addition of two blank sides. Originally made of bone, ebony, or ivory, today’s domino tiles are typically made of plastic.
This year’s selection of dominoes wasn’t without competition, though. Also nominated (but not selected) were fellow games Clue, Twister, and Simon, as well as toys such as the Magic 8-Ball, army men, the Pogo stick, and sidewalk chalk.