Huberman Computer gamesComputer gamesComputer games

  • Issue: December 1990
  • Designer: M. Pereg
  • Stamp size: 40 x 30.8 mm
  • Plate no.: 115 - 117
  • Sheet of 15 stamps Tabs: 5
  • Printers: E. Lewin-Epstein Ltd.
  • Method of printing: Offset

Games are common to all cultures and have been prevalent in every generation since ancient times. The universality of games and their variety has generated a wealth of definitions and conjectures. The American psychologist, Stanley Hall, saw the playing of games as a return to different stages in the development of the human species. Others regarded the playing of games as a cathartic activity which releases tensions, inhibitions, and pent-up feelings such as anger and aggression. One of the major researchers into games, the German psychologist K. Gross, understood them as a very down-to-earth activity, designed to train the individual and to prepare him for life's trials and tribulations.

Despite divided opinions, it would seem that most people agree on the value of games - particularly the educational value. For in addition to their being an enjoyable activity, games are seen as an important educational vehicle in that playing the game means honouring a system of given rules, in such a way as to develop independent personality characteristics within a social framework.

Children's games were chosen recently by the C.E.P.T. (the European Committee of Post Office and Telephone Managers) as the common subject for European stamps. Israelis issuing a set of stamps on this subject and is concentrating specifically on computer games.

There are many positive connections between computers and stamps: the computer today assists the philatelist in cataloguing, in documenting collections and in the managing of stamp exhibitions. It also plays a great part in today's graphic work and to exemplify this, this set of stamps has been drawn by computer.

In the set of stamps which the Philatelic Service is issuing, three popular games are shown: basketball, chess and "racing cars". Ball games - which are represented in this set of stamps by basketball - already appear on an Egyptian fresco, from the 18th century BCE on which there are four girls playing ball. The balls were made of papyrus or linen fibres.

The computer, which is ideal for playing chess, was preceded by chess machines which were operated, it seems, by concealed players. In 1709, Farkash Champlan invented a chess machine which was named "The Turk". "The Turk" was an effigy of a man - wearing a turban -attached to a table. In the table drawers, there was a system of cog wheels which were worked, it seemed, by "The Turk". In tact, inside the machine a concealed chess player worked it with his arm.

Racing cars is a "modern" game; though its main characteristics - challenge, tension, control and agility - are characteristics of many other games.

So though, on the computer screen, these games seem to be the invention of our generation, and uniquely ours, they are in fact just reincarnations of older games in new and modern wrappings.

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Computer games