When put side by side, the modern video games of today are completely different to those classic games that were played by ancient civilizations hundreds or even thousands of years ago.
However, look a little closer and it becomes clear that many of the strategies and tactics that were employed by players of ancient games of the past have plenty in common with the approaches adopted by modern Esports players and online gamers.
Here we take a look at just some of those similarities, to show that whatever happens in the gaming present is always in some way shaped by what happened in gaming’s past.
Sacrificing for the Bigger Picture
The idea of tactical sacrifice has been around in gaming ever since chess was first invented in 8th century India. Sometimes the only way to throw an experienced player off their stride was to offer up a piece that they could not resist, such as a queen or castle, with the idea being that they would then be pulled out of position and left open to attack.
Such maneuverers are now commonly seen in everything from strategy games like League of Legends all the way through to team melee titles like Call of Duty and Valorant. This is quite fitting in a way, because the art of tactical sacrifice was undoubtedly practiced on ancient battlefields before it segued onto the chess board.
Mythical Strategies – from the Classic to the Modern
While there is no doubt around the potential efficacy of the tactical sacrifice in games like chess, there are other gaming strategies that are completely mythical and more based on legend rather than any concrete evidence that they will work in practice.
These are particularly prevalent in classic games whose respective myths and legends have had time to ferment over a greater length of time. This means that the likes of dominoes, table games, and backgammon are all packed with famous strategies that modern online and mobile gamers still swear by to this day, despite players having more accessible knowledge regarding common strategies than ever before. Good examples of such strategies are the Martingale System which purports to aid roulette players, and backgammon’s The Running Game which involves players charging as quickly as possible to get to their pieces to safety. While both strategies can garner some fleeting success in the short term, this is less well assured over the long term. What keeps them in vogue, though, are the tall stories of other players, who purport to have had great success with them.
It’s not just old board games and card games that have attracted outlandish tactical myths, however. There are many modern games like RUST in which players apportion far too much importance to their avatars’ appearance, believing that everything from gender to cheek bone structure will make a significant difference in how they will perform during gameplay.
Daring to be Great
One strategy that still drives all gamers to do incredible things is more an attitude or mindset than a tactical approach: daring to be great. The beauty of online gaming is that there are no limits to what a gamer can achieve. This is most obviously the case on live streaming platforms such as Twitch, where established Esports stars go head-to-head with regular gaming Joes. The latter are able to make a name for themselves, be it through incredible gameplay or a scintillating onscreen presence that gets viewers excited.
The beautiful thing about games of all varieties has always been that the most successful strategy is to believe in yourself and to let your skills do the talking out on the board, card table, or online gaming lobby.