There’s nothing so quintessentially British, so traditionally familial as a board game; the casual cheating of snakes and ladders, the avaricious screaming of “RENT!” in your brother’s face as he lands on a Park Lane hotel, the bludgeoning to death of Mr Black with a lead pipe in the billiard room. It gives one a warm fuzzy feeling just thinking about it.
But how many of us know that board games were once an educational tool, and even helped shape the moral rectitude of the nation’s youth?
In Games for the Games, part of the Exhibition Road Show in Kensington, London, the V&A’s Museum of Childhood has had a rummage in the cupboards and found some amazing examples of Victorian board games which are available to play, for free, on a first-come-first-served basis. You’ll have to be quick though; the festival (located on Exhibition Road, hence the title) ends on 5th August.