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The British Took India’s ‘Snakes And Ladders’ And Copied It To Make ‘Chutes And Ladders’

Published on 25 November, 2016 at 5:59 pm By

There is this board game in the West called ‘Chutes and Ladders’.

As the name suggests it has a board with slides, called chutes, and ladders. The players have to reach the top – the hundredth place – from the bottom – the zeroth.


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Sound’s similar, na? Of course, we have played this very game through our childhoods! Isn’t it called ‘Snakes and Ladders’?

 

The ancient Indian board game taught the players important lessons in karma. WikimediaCommons

The ancient Indian board game taught the players important lessons in karma. WikimediaCommons

Yup, ‘Chutes and Ladders’ is the commercialised, western version of the ancient Indian game ‘Snakes and Ladders’.


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Chutes and Ladders shares the same morality concept of the ancient Indian board game.Pinterest/span>

Chutes and Ladders shares the same morality concept of the ancient Indian board game.Pinterest

The British, like everything they carried away from India, took this board game sometime in the late 19th century.

In 1943, Milton Bradley Company started its commercial production in the US. All they did was turn the snakes in chutes (because, perhaps, US kids were not as ballsy as Indian kids so were shit scared of snakes) and make it a bit more presentable.

They kept the original concept of ‘good and bad deeds’. The ancient Indian game is based on the concept of morality, or karma. Ladders in the game were lesser in number than snakes to signify that there are more vices in the world than virtue.


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This modern version of the game shows various vices at the head of the snakes.Pinterest/span>

This modern version of the game shows various vices at the head of the snakes.Pinterest/span>

If this were done today, the company would have been sued for copyright, patent, trademark and whatnot. But, you know, those were the days before the British arses were kicked out of the country!

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