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The Original Dice

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Some things in life, I wish were more common place, something that occurred or that I experienced more often. One of these things is playing board games with people I care about. When I was younger, and even now, I am a greater lover of games where there is competition and collaboration and just a good bit of fun to be had between people. There may be spite while the game is going on, but really it all fades into being good fun once the game is over. But these games that we play can not be the first of their kind and so I wonder what were the first board games to ever exist.

The concept or idea of board games can actually be traced back to something that we still have in many of the board games that we play today. That is of course the humble dice. In most games, even modern ones, a dice plays a key role in the progression of some element of the game.  The earliest elements of board games that have been discovered are dice a little different from the ones that we are used to in the modern day.  For one, some of them were shaped in the form of several two sided rods, painted only on one side, which would be thrown and the number of painted sides that were facing up would be the number that you had rolled on that particular set of dice. This differs greatly from the modern dice where it has the exact number of sides, with each side having one specific number and the one that is displayed at the top is the number that was rolled. There were also dice made out of stones that were carved and painted which are more similar to the ones that we use now in the modern day.

These dice were believed to have been from around the time of 5000 BC, with these pieces being discovered in several middle eastern countries.  While some of these dice were made of things such as wood and stones, which seem relatively normal materials, there were also some that used to be made out of bone. Roman dices were once again a development of this, with these types of dices much closer to the ones of the modern days basic six-sided dice, six sides of material, marked with small circles to signify the number.

The world is a place made up of chance. The chance that you would be alive to read this, the chance that I would be alive to write it, the chance that these dice would be invented in the first place, it is all things that have a small chance of happening, and yet somehow, they all happened in one world, in once universe. There is something so important about chance in this life and we should never take that for granted.

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