Chapter 2 Lukboc : The Rise and Fall

December 9, 2016


The popularity of any game will depend heavily on a group of instigators and promoters. The aristocrats and elites were the main driving force behind the success of Lukboc. With simple to learn rules, easy to carry parts, and able to gamble with money, Lukboc was quickly becoming their game of choice to show off their wealth. Some had their polyhedral bone dice decorated with colorful gemstones, pawns made of precious jade, and carrying box made of red lacquer with ivory inlays. They loved the game so much that they would bury their favorite Lukboc along side with them in their tombs, perhaps to keep them entertained during their afterlife. With a lack of nightly family entertainment, Lukboc was quickly spreading among all members of the community. Peasants would make crude copies of the game using abandoned sundials, pebbles and animal bones. Children were chanting nursery rhythms on the streets with verses depicting the rules of the game.

Could the gambling aspect of Lukboc brought its demise in the third century ? Ancient Chinese history did not say. However, we do know the countless battles fought between the end of the Han dynasty and the Three Kingdoms period could have destroyed much of the last remaining written rules and killed the last surviving clan of Lukboc experts in China. Thus, leaving behind a few poetry verses that briefly described the nature of the game. 


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