A lot of board games look like relics themselves, with their crumbling covers and missing pieces. But David Parlett in his book The Oxford History of Board Games tells the true history of the worldwide pastime.The earliest board games were organized as races, where players had to move their pieces to a specific ending. Later board game creators started adding the elements we recognize—dice, cards, pieces and the like. Parlett covers many countries and also lists the rules for hundreds of different games throughout the centuries. Parlett was a longtime contributor to Games & Puzzles magazine and has published many books on games, so he’s one of foremost historians on the subject.