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Locus Ludi

In a nutshell

Are games just children's pastimes? Not in classical antiquity! There, all members of society were playing games: men, women, children, free citizens, slaves – and as lore says, even gods!
Did they play together or did they have different games with distinct rules? And were the games like our modern games?
The project Locus Ludi analyzes the game culture of ancient times to get answers to all of these questions. The project partners of the University of Fribourg and of the University of Applied Arts Vienna study four classical games. Based on their scientific results Gentle Troll and Causa Creations develop the modern version of the games for computers and smartphones.

Games are as old as time and will never get out of date. The project Locus Ludi – The Cultural Fabric of Play and Games in Classical Antiquity focuses on the game culture in classical antiquity. An interdisciplinary team identifies, categorizes and reconstructs classical games. The analysis of games opens up a new perspective on the cultural fabric of ancient society, provides models for education and research in related fields, as well as up-to-date material for schools, museums and libraries. Understanding the role of education, society and integration in the past is important in understanding the present and broadening the debate on high-tech toys and new ways of being together.

The University of Fribourg and the University of Applied Arts Vienna reconstruct four ancient games in two variants in their historical context. The rules of the games are reconstructed by expert Ulrich Schädler, archaeologist and director of the Swiss Museum of Games, and member of the ERC team, using ancient literary and archeological evidence. Based on the scientific results Gentle Troll and Causa Creations develop the modern version of the four games for computers and smartphones. To discover a preference for a certain game variation, pupils at two elementary schools in Vienna will play both variations of the games, as will visitors on the ERC Locusludi website.

This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (grant agreement No. 741520).

More on the Locusludi Website or visit the Twitter channel. The games are available in German, Enlish, French and Italian.

Locus Ludi

Game facts