Games & Artificial Intelligence: Reconstruction and Playing Ancient Games

Historical and archaeological research into the games has been hindered by one of the most basic facts about traditional games: the rules were rarely written down. Because people typically learn games from their relatives or peers, there was never a necessity to document rules in their complete forms until the beginnings of commercialization. For this reason, historical, artistic and anthropological evidences are largely full of holes, where the pieces of rule sets are known but many questions remain unanswered. Thus, their documentation is a must.

About the Speaker

Dr. Walter Crist is a postdoctoral researcher with the Digital Ludeme Project in the Department of Data Science and Knowledge Engineering at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. He earned his PhD in Anthropology, with a concentration in Archaeology, from the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University in the United States. His dissertation research focused on the changing social aspects of board game play as social hierarchy developed in Bronze Age Cyprus. He is one of the authors of the book Ancient Egyptians at Play: Board Games across Borders. His fieldwork has led him to Cyprus, Greece, Turkey, and Azerbaijan, where he has collected data on ancient games. His main research focus is how social processes—such as trade, social complexity, and collapse—change the ways people play games. 

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Games And Artificial Intelligence
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