Irving L Finkel, Colin MacKenzie, Asian games: the art of contest

Irving L Finkel, Colin MacKenzie, Asian games: the art of contest. New York: Asia Society 2004

Asian Games: The Art of Contest highlights the paramount importance of Asia as a source of chess, backgammon, pachisi, go, playing cards, polo, and many other games now played worldwide. By exploring the evolution and social functions of games in Asia and their transmission to other regions, this exhibition illuminates significant, yet unfamiliar aspects of Asian cultures and their legacy.
Asian Games is organized into four broad categories: Chance includes the games of dice, pachisi (Parcheesi), and the Indian game that inspired Snakes and Ladders; Strategy explores games in which positions and battlegrounds are paramount, such as chess and weiqi. Memory and Matching looks at playing cards, dominoes, and mahjong; and Power and Dexterity examines physical games like kickball and polo. In each section, examples of games and depictions of their use help all visitors, from the playful to the scholarly, explore how games were adopted into new cultural contexts, how they reflected traditional roles of power, class, and gender, and many other fascinating topics.


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