What - another theme? As if having contests and starting to think about beer and music is not enough, I have been obsessing a bit (inspired no doubt by Stonch) about old games a bit lately at my other blog, the general purpose Gen X at 40, the web site that spawned this here place.
Plenty of old games relate to pubs - both inside games like darts and lawn games like bowls. But beyond that, they tie beer to gathering and do so in an utterly unproductive but pleasing way. I am a bit fan of unproductive skills and have started a gathering of local beer fans under the name of the Kingston Society for Playing Catch with the aim of exploring all aspects of idleness at a very slow pace over the remaining decades of my life. I think I am going to suggest that pub games need to be added to the mandate of the KSPC.
What do I mean by pub games? There are the obvious ones. My life has always included doing games as much or more than board or card games. I grew up in a Minister's house where darts was played after supper - leaving one manse front door in a very bad state as I recall. And, along with good helpings of shuffleboard, undergrad early '80s two-player table top video games morphed into law school snooker as staples during my free time in the vicinity of a beer or two. But before or as these popular games developed in the Victorian era (or were created in the early digital one) there were other more localized games skill being played by a few dedicated fans like bar billiards, ball and trap, the incredibly fun looking London skittles or the smaller scale variation known as hood skittles or Northamptonshire skittles shown being played above. Plenty of different games and their rules are to be found at the excellent Masters Traditional Games. More rules and history can be found through the pub games page at wikiality as well as the Online Guide to Traditional Games.
Realizing that these are mainly English games, I hope to explore a bit about the other games played by folk having a beer in other nations through this series. If you know of any you love please join in.