« Advice on Mongolian surnames | Main | Flotsam and jetsam »

17 June 2004

New game of human life


The New Game of Human Life encouraged young players to develop proper moral character, learning the exigencies of the seven stages of life, from “Infancy” to “Dotage,” while navigating the paths of vice and virtue. Players advance or forfeit according to the moral nature of the character represented in the square they land on. “The Assiduous Youth” or “Benevolent Man,” for instance, allowed players to advance, while the “Drunkard” or “Negligent Boy” forced players to lose a turn or to move backward. The game illustrates late-eighteenth century social values assigned to various careers. Landing on “The Romance Writer,” for instance, sends the player back to “The Mischievous Boy.” Similarly, the “Dramatist” forces the player to begin the game again. A warning from the manufacturer of the game points out the dangers of introducing dice into the family home and recommends the use of a spinning top called a totum or teetotum rather than a game piece so closely associated with gambling and vice.

From Cornell University's Rare and Manuscript Collection exhibition, Pastimes and Paradigms: Games we Play

Posted at 11:17 AM in Nonsense | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference New game of human life:

» Das Spiel war (ist?) das Medium from Die tägliche Link-Show
(Über das Weblog von Foe Romeo aufmerksam gemacht worden auf:) Eine ziemlich faszinierende Website der Bibliothek der Cornell-Universität: GAMES WE PLAY. Hier werden alte Spiele vorgestellt. Diese erzählen oft viel über die Sitten und Gebräuche der ... [Read More]

Tracked on 18 Jun 2004 15:37:53