5 hours agoCreated a post • 196 points @tosh
So when chess was first played, this game was already ancient. That is pretty cool.Reply
I was introduced to senet via the 1995 pc game "Nile: Passage to Egypt"Reply
> Espen Aarseth asked if the game Senet could be said to still exist, given that the rules were unknown. In response, Alexander de Voogt of the American Museum of Natural History pointed out that games did not have a fixed set of rules, but rules varied over time and from place to place.
The game is the rules. Those people played different games. If you can do anything you want with it, it's a toy, not a game.
If everyone forgot and lost the rules to pinochle, would we say pinochle still exists because people are playing poker with the same deck of cards?Reply
The modern rules are largely just a guess, but the rulesets I've played with are... so-so. There is enough excitement, I guess, but nearly every game comes down to 50/50 luck. It's incredibly difficult to gain any sort of strategic edge.
It's a curiosity,. But you should probably rather be playing backgammon.Reply
I remember getting the game as part of a collectors edition of the show LOST. Used to play it quite a bit.Reply
I remember as a kid having a shareware sampler that had some very nicely done videogame versions of Senet, Hnefatafl, the Royal Game of Ur, and some sort of a Pueblo board game . Peak late 90s skeumorphism, complete with little rendered win/loss cutscenes. Unless I can find that CD, it's probably gone forever thoughReply
> Senet is the oldest known board game.
I was always under the impression that a form of backgammon was on the ancient Mesopotamian/Sumerian scene around the same time -- though, now that I actually come to look for a good source to support that notion, I'm struggling to find one.
Wikipedia and other sources just say "backgammon can be traced back nearly 5000 years" Reply
I once won an AI tournament for senet :) so for me this post relates to AI... But still... it's a mystery how this gets to the top of HNReply
Too bad we don't know the rules. Also, I think it's one of the oldest board games including Go and Backgammon.Reply
Anyone else know about senet from the Rick Riordan series The Kane Chronicles?Reply
I love ancient board games. It's amazing to think about chess and how rules have been changed slightly over time for 1000 years. The game has since been stable for about 500. The computer era is revolutionizing the game again and maybe will usher in new popular variants (Fischer random, no castle chess) as our understanding of the game evolves.Reply
I can't remember the exact book, but contained in a book about Ancient Egypt, there was the rules, paper pieces and a sample board for this game - we used to play it all the time as kids.
My grandpa helped us make a wooden set of pieces and a board before he passed, it was a a great little intro to woodworking project.Reply
Looks a bit like Mancala. I don't know much about Senet, but we played Mancala all the time, when I was a kid (in Africa).Reply