The subject of games, especially the games of children, has been generally regarded as beneath the dignity of real scientific treatment

Who would have guessed that the subject line and the following quote was from an 1895 review of Stewart Culin’s book Korean Games?

The subject of games, especially the games of children, has been generally regarded as beneath the dignity of real scientific treatment. They have been indulgently regarded as trivial pastimes, or, at best, as amusements only.

A quite different presentment of their significance is advanced in the work before us. The author, drawing most of his information from fresh and unpublished sources, describes ninety-seven games played by the youth of Korea, or by those of older years who retain the love of festal occupations.

(Science, N. 8 Vol.  II. No 49. 1895)

It just struck me because 1) it is the kind of thing that we keep on saying – games have not been taken seriously and now we should, but 2) I rarely feel I have to defend the study of games anymore. (But perhaps I travel in the wrong circles?)

2 thoughts on “The subject of games, especially the games of children, has been generally regarded as beneath the dignity of real scientific treatment”

  1. Perhaps you travel in the wrong circles – when I told my parents about CMS and GAMBIT, they thought it was just like DeVry (http://www.devry.edu/) :-(

    I think this is another instance where we can just cite the generation gap and move on.

Comments are closed.