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Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Center Highlights Games from Around the World

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Games#When we think of games that people play, images of Wii consoles, PlayStations, and Nintendo DS might come to mind. Humans have played games long before electronics.# In fact, nearly every game played today has its roots in ancient history. These games have helped pass time as well as improve coordination, physical skills, strategic thinking, and math abilities. This summer, the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center (GEHC) invites you to explore the world of games through an exciting and interactive exhibit called Playing Together: Games.

Playing Together: Games is a fun way to build skills and share memories with your family and friends,” said Jason West, director of programming and development. “The exhibit highlights games from around the world and across the centuries and demonstrates how people have invented imaginative ways of playing together.”

One of the earliest games known to man is featured. Visitors can rewind the clock and play a game of Senet, which is an early racing game that dates back more than 3,000 years. The game was discovered in the tombs of Egyptian pharaohs and carved into the roof tiles of ancient temples.# Another highlighted activity includes Nine Men”s Morris, a strategy game that inspired checkers, chess, and backgammon.# Visitors can also experience Boc-Tin, a Chinese game similar to Shut the Box, which was played by French sailors aboard ships many years ago.

The exhibit is divided into categories of strategy, math, coordination, and physical skills. The focal point of the exhibit is an oversized chessboard with giant game pieces. Activities also include an area where visitors can invent their own games, an area that explores how people react to winning and losing games, and a “House of Cards” playing area where guests can play a variety of board games.

Playing Together: Games was developed and designed for children of all ages by the Children”s Museum of Memphis and is included with admission to the GEHC. The exhibit is sponsored by the GEHC Foundation and will be on display from May 15, 2013, until September 2, 2013. For more information, visit www.gwinnettEHC.org.