The colorful carved wooden whale above is a game. You can CLICK on the whale to view detailed photographs of the components of this game, discover how this game is played, who played it, where it was played, and find out about the artist who created the components of the game. This is an example of the many types of information about GAMES that will be found on this Website.
In 1971, the Universiy of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada established a public museum dedicated to research and the collection, preservation, and exhibition of games and game-related objects from around the world. The Museum was established and operated by the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies, under the administration of the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences.
There were over 5000 objects in the collection, and a large number of archival documents about games. Public thematic exhibitions were offered in an on-campus venue. The University closed this museum in 2009 and its collection was transferred to the Canadian Museum of Civilization, one of the Canadian National Museums in Ottawa. A wider public will now be able to view and conduct research on the collection. With this transfer, the collection will now be conserved for many generations to come.
In 1993, the Univesity began to offer the public this Website based upon the materials in the Museum. Even though the Museum no longer exists, but the collection does, the University decided to continue to host this Website about games as an educational service to the public. On over 700 Webpages, the site includes videos, photographs, diagrams, other graphics, and textual information about games.
Clicking on one of the Menu items in the left panel will take you to the other pages on this Website.
The Virtual Collection item takes you to a clickable list of Webpages about objects, such as Boxed Games, Playing Cards, Electronic Games, etc. Pages are organized as exhibits. An exhibit will have one or more Webpages concerning the games in a particular category.
The Papers About Games item contains scanned documents of published papers by game ethnologists and historians. Many of these include photographs and explanatory diagrams of how certain ethnographic games were played.
Games: Facts and Theories includes pages dealing with ethnography and diffusion of games in general. Answers to general questions about games which viewers have frequently asked are included in this section.
The final item in the left menu concerns conditions for those wishing to copy material from this Website.
Last update June 29, 2010