Russian board games from 1920s and 1930s

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Gus Winterbottom's picture
Joined: 19 Oct 2006 - 11:46am
Russian board games from 1920s and 1930s
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An interesting look at Soviet graphic design and typography as applied to board games.

http://babs71.livejournal.com/355037.html

Kristians Sics's picture
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Joined: 17 Nov 2009 - 3:29pm
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Well... I hope the Russians love their children too.

Theunis de Jong's picture
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Joined: 22 Apr 2008 - 5:06pm
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They must have enjoyed their evenings of "Chasing Trotsky".

Where is "Tetris, the Board Game"?

Igor Freiberger's picture
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Joined: 20 Jun 2008 - 8:44pm
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Very interesting! Great examples of design and type usage.
Maybe a Russian Typophile could give us some insight about these games.

MrMoto's picture
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Joined: 29 Nov 2009 - 2:34pm
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The first few games are titled as follows (maybe):

Chemical War
Revolution
Long Live the Revolution!
Reds and Whites (I doubt the rules make it easy for the Whites ...)
Aerial Conflict
Aerial Combat (note: the letters going downward are part of the first
word)
Cycling Race (?)

A bit lower down: the one in greyish blue is something like 'Journey through Wealth'.
I thought at first the city was burning, but it appears to a 'wealthy' industrialized city. Next, a similar theme: Electrification.

I'll let someone else take over the translation from here.

Raymond Kingston's picture
Joined: 4 Sep 2006 - 12:28am
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Mr. Moto, I thought at first you were joking. Your titles were so intriguingly Orwellian that I had to follow the link. I think I stand corrected.

Thomas Phinney's picture
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Joined: 3 Sep 2002 - 11:00am
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Fascinating!

I have been thinking about doing something on typography in board games (I have a collection of several hundred board games myself), but it would have been both more modern (mostly 80s-present) and largely English language.

Cheers,

T

David W. Goodrich's picture
Joined: 14 May 2008 - 2:23pm
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I'll contribute "Happy Landings" (literally "good flight") for the game celebrating a flight from Moscow to Mongolia and Peking in June and July of 1925. I'll leave it to a native speaker to translate the "осводовец" of the Morse code chart immediately following.

David

Craig Eliason's picture
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Joined: 19 Mar 2004 - 1:44pm
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I'm still trying to convince myself this isn't a perfectly executed satire.

Alex Pankratov's picture
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Joined: 24 Nov 2008 - 11:50pm
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> "осводовец"

.. is a member of OSVOD, which is a "Society of Water Rescue" - an all encompassing volunteer society that included lifeguards, swimming teachers, water safety educators, those working on improving rescue techniques and equipment, etc.

http://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%9E%D1%81%D0%B2%D0%BE%D0%B4

Alex Pankratov's picture
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Joined: 24 Nov 2008 - 11:50pm
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> Chemical War
> Revolution
> Long Live the Revolution!
> Reds and Whites
> Aerial Conflict
> Aerial Combat
> Cycling Race (?)

Circular Race rather
Travel by Plane across the USSR
Polar Expedition of Krasin and Malygin Icebreakers
Travel the Wealth of the USSR
Electrification - not to be mixed with Electrocution :)
Moscow-China Dobrolet - a made-up word, literally - "Kind/Happy Flyer"
Alphabet of Young Osvodovetz
Your Friend of Avtodor - Avtodor is the same as Osvod, but applied to the cars instead of water :)
Maneuvers by Young Friends of Osoviahim - as far as I remember it was a society dealing with training volunteer reservists for the defence department. "-him" stands for "chemical", probably capturing the fascination with gas masks of that period :)
...

If there is interest, I can translate the rest, but it's all pretty much in the same vein.

Igor Freiberger's picture
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Joined: 20 Jun 2008 - 8:44pm
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One must understand those games from a historic, contextual point of view. They make sense for a country living post-revolutionary and post-war times. To view this as a caricature is to misunderstand their '20s and '30s reality.

Theunis de Jong's picture
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Joined: 22 Apr 2008 - 5:06pm
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.. a historic, contextual point of view ..

As in, the American equivalent would be Monopoly (1935).

Sebastian Boros's picture
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Joined: 7 Oct 2008 - 3:51am
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I love the one with the wheels and belt made of images, and the machine operator in the back. Something like a production line. Also, the next one, with the battleships. This is so exciting!

oprion's picture
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Joined: 15 Nov 2007 - 12:15pm
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1924? Holy smokes, that's barely out of the civil war!