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The serious side of historical games

Mind-extending brain teasers, puzzles and games have long been used to entertain and educate, and fun has often masked underlying moral or public health messages. Julia Nurse examines examples, from simple race games that led players through a virtuous or vice-laden maze to dangerous gaming manoeuvres used as warnings about contemporary health issues.

Words by Julia Nurse

  • In pictures

About the author

Photograph of Julia Nurse

Julia Nurse

Julia is a Collections Researcher at Wellcome Collection with a background in art history. She co-curated the content within the Reading Room and has assisted with content selection for ‘Bedlam’, ‘Electricity: The spark of life’ and ‘Can Graphic Design Save Your Life?’