A board game titled 'Geographical Recreation, or a Voyage Round the Habitable Globe'.
This is an example of a very early game intended for children.There are 115 handcoloured vignettes of voyage scenes, with four map inserts - Asia, America, Europe and Africa. Each scene is numbered, so the maker may well have intended the game to be played by throwing dice.
The scenes are taken from published accounts of famous voyages including the eighteenth century exploration of the Pacific.There are several images of Hawaii, including one of Cook's death.
SignificanceHere in a condensed form, is a summary of English attitudes about the world at the time of Napoleon. Based on published engravings, there are vignettes of life in Africa, Asia and the Americas. The numerous Pacific scenes are all from Cook voyages.
Positive aspects are counter balanced by scenes that seem as violent as today's video games. Its actually a summation of English prejudices and fears of the unknown - being torn apart by elephants, or attacked by tigers for example. These culminate in James Cook being killed in Hawaii.
HistoryGeographical games that took the arm chair traveller to remote and exotic corners of newly discovered lands were published throughout the nineteenth century, but examples from this early period are extremely rare.
'Geographical Recreation, or a Voyage Round the Habitable Globe' is a game that highlights the themes of British Imperial expansion and colonial aspirations. While aiming to improve player’s knowledge, there was also a strong nationalistic theme in the games. Mostly geographically or historically based, games such as this highlight the view of Britain as the centre of the Empire, expanding her influence across the globe.