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10:45am on Wednesday, 10th July, 2019:



Today, we visited the island of Spinalonga, which lies invitingly out in the bay opposite our hotel.

It started out as a Venetian fort, then became an Ottoman fort, then became a Greek leper colony (which was shut down in 1957). There's a book about it called The Island which I probably ought to have read before I went but didn't.

Anyway, one of the features of Spinalonga is that most of the people who have lived there over the years were stuck on the island either as a garrison force or because they had leprosy. What did they used todo to while away the hours?

Well, they played games. These are some of the boards they made from pieces of flat stone.

I always find it somewhat saddening to see examples of games that people have been playing for centuries, because of all the time humanity has wasted not studying them over the years. We're only studying them today because (thanks to computers) they make money. Imagine how much progress we could have made if they'd received the same amount of attention as literature, or even drama.

Gee, thanks, academic snobbery.

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Copyright © 2019 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).