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Games for Research: Morality

The John Johnson Collection contains many games and has recently been considerably enriched by the donation by Richard Ballam of his collection of games and pastimes. This guide explores the relevance of games to academic research.

Morality games

Many Morality games were games of chance, often variations of The Game of the Goose, and therefore required no skill or knowledge.  However, the sense of progression inherent in the game could be used by publishers for didactic purposes, representing a path towards good or a progression through the vicissitudes of life to self-knowledge. The New Game of Human Life published by John Wallis and E. Newbury in 1790 has many pitfalls on the way to the Immortal Man. JJColl: Games folder (1)


The Mirror of Truth (John Wallis,1811)

Subject Guide

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Julie Anne Lambert
John Johnson Collection
Bodleian Libraries
Broad Street
+44 (0)1865 277047