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Surprising Historic Games Around the World

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There are many games around the world that are intrinsically connected to different cultures. However, some of these games have surprising and interesting histories. So, let’s dive into the evolution of some historic games.

Plinko 

Today, players can see the game of plinko on TV shows, and try their hand at digital versions of the game from home. Plinko enthusiasts can play Plinko Go which combines the rules of plinko and the mechanics of online slot games to provide an immersive and interactive casino experience. However, plinko has its roots in the historic game of pachinko, which in itself was inspired by the 18th-century billiard japonais and 15th-century Corinthian bagatelle. Despite the name and synonymous nature with Japanese culture, it is thought that the game of pachinko was invented in the US in the 1920s.

At some point, these games were adopted by Japanese players, creating the game of pachinko, which emerged from Nagoya in the 1930s. With such popularity throughout the world, it is almost no surprise that Frank Wayne chose the game as the basis for his new segment for The Price Is Right in 1983 – and the game of plinko was born. Today, the game of plinko is popular throughout the world, so much so that it is said to be the most popular pricing game to ever appear on its originating TV show.

Pelota

We’ve all heard of racquet sports like tennis and squash, but you may not know of their precursor – the 13th-century pelota – despite the fact it is a popular sport around the world. It is thought that, like tennis, the sport originated from jeu de paume. Whilst others adopted the evolving rules of real and lawn tennis, communities in the rural areas of the Alps and the Pyrenees continued to traditional rules of pelota.

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Over time, new versions of the game began to emerge – most prominently, Basque pelota. Modern Basque pelota is a popular game in Spain, France, South America, USA, and has continued to spread across Europe. Basque pelota was once an Olympic sport, played in 1900, 1924, 1968 and 1992.

Hurling

Hurling has long since been a favorite sport of Ireland and the Irish diaspora around the world, with a survey by RTE finding that there are 25,600 players in Cork alone. Hurling became popular as one of the sports of the Gaelic Games – however, its history is more intrinsically connected to Irish culture than we might think. In fact, hurling is mentioned in many Irish legends and myths such as Táin Bo Cuailgne, with the earliest literary nod to hurling dated at 1272 BC. This means hurling has been played for over 3000 years, making it older than the recorded history of Ireland.

Over the years, the game of hurling became more regimented, and developed alongside the Scottish game of Shinty. By the 19th century, hurling had made its way to the UK, Argentina, South Africa, the US, and Australia. At the 1904 Olympics in Missouri, hurling was unofficially added to the sporting roster, with Chicago’s Fenian FC beating St Louis’ Innisfails in the final game to become the only winner of hurling in the Olympics ever.

And there you have it – just a few traditional games that have rich histories, becoming international favorites. Why not take a look at the history behind your local game – you might be surprised!

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