All About Sports & Games
are recreations generally including any activity engaged
in for diversion or amusement and often involve competition,
contest or rivalry. They pass the time, entertain,
and hopefully, improve our physical or mental health
and strength. Some games also teach, educate, and
exercise the mind. Games are generally, but not always,
played according to prescribed rules, formulas and
patterns, and usually involve equipment such as pen
and paper, cards, computers, dice or other counters,
or specially marked boards. Differentiated from sports,
games are usually more passive in nature, often involving
intellectual skill more than physical capability.
games and sports started as a form of preparation
for war. Chess, which originated in India or China
in about the 6th or 7th century, re-creates the battlefield.
The ancient Greeks made little distinction between
sport and war, with violence and bloodshed often being
part of the early Olympic Games. In modern times team
games in the USA have gained wide acceptance in educational
institutions, with scholarships granted for a increasing
variety of sports activities.
games are similar to organised sports and, like sports,
they provide pleasure, relaxation, excitement, and
challenge. There are many, many different games. Some
have the same rules all over the world, such as chess.
Others vary from place to place; for example, there
are many variations on the card game of poker.
is the best selling board game in the world. Over
200 million games have been sold in 80 counties and
26 languages. The longest game lasted for 70 staight
days. In 1999, a sack of money joined the racecar,
dog, cannon, shoe, top hat, iron, thimble, battleship,
wheelbarrow, and horse and rider as game tokens.
element of chance is brought into some games by the
use of dice or other randomising devices. In many games,
such as Monopoly, the number of spots facing up when
the dice come to rest determines the number of squares
that a player may move along. Standard dice have spots:
one spot on one face, two on another, etc up to six
spots. The spots on opposite faces add up to seven.
But there are other kinds of dice, such as poker dice
which have faces similar to playing cards.
games, such as billiards and table tennis, are played
on larger surfaces than board games, typically tables
with legs. These table games also require different
kinds of equipment from board games. In billiards,
players use a cue stick to knock balls into one another
and into pockets. Table tennis players use paddles
('bays') to hit a light ball back and forth over a
net strung across the table.
Not all games require special equipment - you can
make your own playing pieces for some games in a few
minutes from string, toothpicks, sticks, or stones.
Some games make you think, others call for physical
skills, and some require both. You can play some games
by yourself, sonme need two to play, while others
are fun only when played in a group.
Games may be classified by type, such as board games,
including chess and checkers; card and dice games;
guessing games, including charades; word and letter
games, for example, bingo; and the games unique to
computer and video games have become popular for children
and adults. In most electronic games, players use
a keyboard, joystick, or some other type of game controller.
Video games are played on specially designed arcade
machines, handheld devices, or systems that are hooked
to television screens. Computer games are played on
home computers. With electronic games, the computer
itself can serve as the opponent, allowing people
to play traditional games such as chess or bridge
against the computer.
In the 1990s the Internet opened up the possibility
of playing games with people in all parts of the world.
The Internet and WWW allow people to download game
programs (e.g. in Java or Shockwave) from sites such
as EncycloZine. Internet clubs have sprung up for
many kinds of games, and many of the newest computer
games now come with user interfaces for online play.
are recreational or competitive activities involving
some amount of physical strength or skill. Throughout
history, man has played games primarily as a means
to meet socially with others, to display skills and
physical prowess, and to entertain or offer excitement.
At one time, sports were commonly considered to include
only the outdoor recreational pastimes, such as fishing,
shooting, and hunting, as opposed to games, which
were regarded as organized athletic contests played
by teams or individuals according to prescribed rules.
The distinction between sports and games has blurred,
and the two terms are now often used interchangeably.
games involve some form of running, throwing, and
jumping, all of which developed from basic hunting
skills. Many early cultures (e.g., the Aztec Indians
and the ancient Greeks) incorporated religious and
political elements into their games, but there was
always a desire for recreational play that eventually
inspired the codification of early games and the invention
of new ones.
Olympic Games are an international sports festival
that began in ancient Greece. There are records of
the champions at Olympia from 776 BC to AD 217. The
original Greek games were staged every fourth year
for several hundred years, until they were abolished
in AD 393 by the Roman emperor Theodosius I, probably
because of their pagan associations.
revival of the Olympic Games took place in April 1896,
with 13 nations sending nearly 300 representatives
to take part in 42 events and 10 different sports.
Since then they have been staged every fourth year,
except during World War I and World War II (1916,
1940, 1944). The revival of the Olympic Games led
to the formation of many international bodies controlling
their own amateur sports and to the creation of National
Olympic Committees in countries throughout the world.
modern times the simplest physical-skill games are
such contests as races, archery, and darts. Most modern
games, however, are combinations of physical skill
and strategy - most apparent in the many varieties
of ball games. American football, for example, is
possibly the most strategic of games involving physical
skill, with its various complex plays and its control
by coaches from the sidelines.