Fred Astaire and his sister Adele playing Mah Jong, 1926

White Women and the Mahjong Craze

Travelers brought the Chinese game to American shores in the early 1920s. Why was it such a hit?
A Thomas Kinkade puzzle

What’s Behind the Pandemic Puzzle Craze?

Puzzles, or “dissected maps,” were invented in Georgian-era England, probably by a mapmaker named John Spilsbury in the early 1760s.
Monopoly board with dice

The Different Meanings of Monopoly

Monopoly's real inventor was Lizzie Magie, a progressive Georgist, who believed that land should be collectively owned by all.
Mansion of Happiness board game

Gamification, Then and Now

Nineteenth-century board games help to map public morality, from religious virtue to upward mobility.

What’s in a Game? Monopoly at 80

The real-estate game Monopoly turns 80 in 2015