Category Archives: Playing Cards

For You to Know and Me to Find Out

While looking up information on Martin Gardner earlier this year, I noticed that one of his Mathematical Games columns in Scientific American was about a game called Eleusis. While I can’t find his article, at least not in any format … Continue reading

Posted in Games, Greek Mythology, Mystery Cults, Mythology, Playing Cards, Religion, Science | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nothing But a Pack of Cards

I’ve written before about the origin of playing cards, including Tarot decks containing trump cards, as well as why I take issue with the adjustable rules of fortune telling. While I don’t know of any evidence connecting Tarot decks with … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Characters, Chris Dulabone, Eric Shanower, Games, L. Frank Baum, Magic, Oz, Oz Authors, Playing Cards | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Mind Your Mana

I don’t recall when I first heard the term “mana,” but it’s present in a lot of video games, especially role-playing ones. I think I used to get it confused with manna, the stuff the Israelites ate in the desert. … Continue reading

Posted in Dragon Quest, Etymology, Final Fantasy, Games, Language, Magic, Mana/Seiken Densetsu, Mythology, Pacific, Playing Cards, Video Games | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Mythical Cards and Magical Crystals

Another game I played in my youth, this time somewhat later than many of the others, is a 1981 card game called Dragonmaster. Essentially, the gameplay was a lot like Hearts. Each player plays a card, and whoever has the … Continue reading

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What’s a Wumpus?

You might have heard of Hunt the Wumpus, a game originally programmed for BASIC by Gregory Yob in 1972 or 1973. It was a map-based game with the Wumpus hiding out in one of the spaces, and your job was … Continue reading

Posted in Games, Playing Cards, Video Games | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

You Know Uno, But Do You Know O’No?

I’m sure you’ve all played Uno, which is more or less Crazy Eights with extra cards that do such things as reverse play and skip a person’s turn. It was invented in 1971 by a barber in Ohio (I’d previously … Continue reading

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Cats in Black

An old game that I was interested in finding out about is the Black Cat Fortune Telling Game, which appears to have been first released in 1897. Part of the Victorian obsession with fortune-telling, this game consists of twenty-four cards, … Continue reading

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