Patented: History of Inventions


Snakes and Ladders

Ep. 93

It turns out that all those times you played Snakes and Ladders (Chutes and Ladders) as a child you were playing a game that once symbolised the whole universe and our place in it. Instead of crying when you landed on a snake you should really have been reflecting upon the nature of reality.

Get ready for a story that takes us back through Victorian England, to an India where boardgames were steeped in mysticism, and on to the empty nothingness at the heart of the universe. Leading Dallas down the rabbit hole is the wonderful Jacob Schmidt-Madsen from the University of Copenhagen, a historian of Indian board games and the culture surrounding them.

Edited by Stuart Beckwith, Produced by Freddy Chick, Senior Producer is Charlotte Long.

More Episodes