It’s just now struck me that the however-many-thousand-year history of gaming began with a very distinct class of board game known as Ameritrash. Don’t believe me? Consider the evidence:

  • Senet, commonly mentioned as the oldest known board game, features the movement of each player’s units around a track toward a goal; along the way, superior tactics can cause an opponent grave setbacks — Ameritrash often features unit movement and some kind of conflict or combat among units
  • Movement in Senet is determined by the casting of lots, i.e., the throw of some anciently flavored dice — Ameritrash games are notoriously more dice-heavy than their Eurostyle counterparts
  • Ameritrash is also often strongly themed — Senet has its theme as well: its board seems to depict the soul’s journey to the afterlife, and results of games were thought to carry a certain amount of soothsaying weight.

So there you have it. The first proper board game was Ameritrash.

Take that, Eurogames!

Though to be sure, all it takes is a loose portal token to set you back on the right track…