Trivia

Hard

Which Of These Popular Board Games Was Originally A Tool For Teaching Indian Children About Karma?

Backgammon
Monopoly
Chutes and Ladders
Chess

Answer: Chutes and Ladders

It’s probably been a few years since you’ve played the classic Milton Bradley board game, Chutes and Ladders, but the basic premise is likely still clear in your mind. Players roll a single die or use a spinner to determine the number of spaces moved on a checkerboard-like grid where some of the squares have a ladder (which helps you up the board) and some have a chute, or slide, that sends you back down the board. In some versions of the game, there is no labeling, and in other versions of the game, there are small bits of artwork that loosely link the rise on the ladder or the descent down the chute to some moral act (like rising when you help a kitten in trouble or descending if you eat too much candy).

The allusion to winning through moral action or losing through vice is a direct nod to the history of the game. Originally introduced in India and known as Moksha Patam, the game (using snakes and ladders) served as a teaching tool for morality and karmic punishment. In the original game, the virtues are Faith, Reliability, Generosity, Knowledge, and Asceticism, and engaging with them lifts you up the karmic field. The vices are Disobedience, Vanity, Vulgarity, Theft, Lying, Drunkenness, Debt, Murder, Rage, Greed, Pride, and Lust, and tangling with them causes the snakes to pull you back down the karmic field.

Through English colonialism, the game jumped from India to England, where the virtues and vices were tweaked to reflect Victorian ideals and the game was known as Snakes and Ladders. It eventually made its way to America where, through various adaptations over the ensuing years, the moral aspects of the game have been watered down to the kittens and chocolates version found on shelves today.

Trivia

Hard

Which Nation’s Flag Includes A Nod To The United Nations?

Trivia

Hard

The First Platformer Video Game Was?

Trivia

Very Hard

Kryptonite Was Introduced To The Superman Universe In Order To?

Trivia

Hard

Which Common Computer Cable Was Named After A Debunked Scientific Theory?

Trivia

Hard

Dungeons & Dragons Was Originally Known By What Name?

Trivia

Hard

Which Creature Can Be Used To Reliably Detect Pregnancy In Humans?

Trivia

Easy

The Only Predator That Regularly Preys On Skunks Is?

Trivia

Hard

Oscar The Grouch Wasn’t Originally Green, But?

Trivia

Hard

In 1981 It Would Take You Two Hours To Download What?

Trivia

Hard

A 1980s Urban Legend Claimed CD Sound Improved By Coating The Edges With What?