Games are an essential part of culture, and they have been around longer than the written word! Humans love to play, and we will discuss how and why. Games have been used to resolve epic conflicts between rival kingdoms, delineate between social classes, pass on lessons to future generations. They have even caused moral panics. We will discuss the evolution of games from pre-history to ancient Greece, India, China, and Rome, onto the creation of the 52 card deck and modern chess. Finally, we will use that knowledge to understand and contextualize the flourishing video game industry that we have today, shedding light on humanity’s long obsession with play.