• Seven Games

  • A Human History
  • By: Oliver Roeder
  • Narrated by: William Sarris
  • Length: 9 hrs and 11 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (33 ratings)

1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $20.99

Buy for $20.99

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

Checkers, backgammon, chess, and Go. Poker, Scrabble, and bridge. These seven games, ancient and modern, fascinate millions of people worldwide. In Seven Games, Oliver Roeder charts their origins and historical importance, the arcana of their rules, and the ways their design makes them pleasurable.

Roeder introduces thrilling competitors, such as evangelical minister Marion Tinsley, who across 40 years lost only three games of checkers; Shusai, the Master, the last Go champion of imperial Japan; and an IBM engineer who created a backgammon program so capable at self-learning that NASA used it on the space shuttle. He delves into the history and lore of each game: backgammon boards in ancient Egypt, the Indian origins of chess, how certain shells from a particular beach in Japan make the finest white Go stones.

Roeder explores why games, seemingly trivial pastimes, speak so deeply to the human soul. He introduces an early philosopher of games, the aptly named Bernard Suits, and visits an Oxford cosmologist who has perfected a computer that can effectively play bridge, a game as complicated as human language itself. Throughout, Roeder tells the compelling story of how humans, pursuing scientific glory and competitive advantage, have invented AI programs better than any human player, and what that means for the games - and for us.

©2022 Oliver Roeder (P)2022 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Seven Games

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    23
  • 4 Stars
    5
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    18
  • 4 Stars
    9
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    18
  • 4 Stars
    5
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Mostly about AI

This focused a lot on artificial intelligence, which was an ok perspective, but I thought it’s history of these games tilted more to AI and why that was built than in the games itself. It got a little repetitive. Still interesting though.