Who invented Chess?

It was not Dr Albert Chess, we regret to inform you. We’ll probably never know the precise origin of this ancient game of strategy and funny horses. But we can try to find out! And that starts with asking a board game historian for some background on the noble game. Where did it come from? Was it always so stuffy? Did chess ever face competition from other ancient board games? We ask Ulrich Schädler of the Swiss Museum of Games to bring us up to speed on a multiplayer battle arena that hasn’t been patched since the 15th century.

With guest co-host Matt Cox!

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5 great games from 2020

“Never look back,” my mother always said. “Unless you are compiling your Games Of The Year list.” So here you go: a short video naming the 5 games I most enjoyed in 2020 (and some runners-up too). It’s a real pick ‘n’ mix of a shortlist, with some big blockbusters alongside games made by small teams. There’s no particular order to it. I liked them all, despite what flaws they have (ahem, looking at a certain bizarro walking simulator here).

This is a small bonus video to round out the year. Podcast-wise, I have some good episodes lined up for 2021, and I hope I have as many video games to praise at the end of it. Thank you to all the lessoners and Patrons who have stuck with me so far! Please feel free to shout out your favourite games from this year in the video’s comments. GOTY lists are pretty silly. But they are fun to make. Make one!