The "Boards that mean the world" exhibition, which can be seen in the Kölnisches Stadtmuseum, looks at the culture-historical importance of parlour games.
The often artfully illustrated game boards and playing cards from the most varied eras of the history of Cologne reflect the changing spirits of the times and important societal developments.
Political upheaval and propaganda, technical achievements, new travel possibilities or the common conceptions of femininity and masculinity – all of this influences the rules of the games and the image motifs. The exhibition deals with a theme area of "gamescom", among others, including with the play culture of the present, and provides insights into the innovative Cologne game design scene. The process for the development of computer games today is also presented descriptively. And of course it must also be possible to play in a games exhibition.
A digital parlour game realised by the innovative Cologne developer studios "ART+COM" and "the Good Evil" allows visitors of all ages to become a game figure with which they can jump right into the middle of history during the tour of the exhibition. Games from many decades are available to play in a large gaming area – from a board game from the 19th century to the mixed reality game "SnakePit", which was developed in Cologne. Play has always been a human need. Playing is fun, animates the senses, trains the memory and lends wings to the imagination.
Even the Romans very much enjoyed games with dice or animal bones. While sophisticated board, dice and card games were reserved for the nobility in the Middle Ages, parlour games also became accessible to a broader segment of the population in the 19th century thanks to new printing technologies. Simultaneously with this development, games for children were introduced for the first time that not only entertained, but were primarily also meant to serve purposes of education and upbringing.