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Sheldon, Leonard, Howard and Raj are often seen playing games on The Big Bang Theory. Board games are a lot of fun, and the games they play seem to be intelligent and a riot. What are the games they are playing on the show? While some of the games are made up for the sake of the show, other games do exist in one form or another.
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Taisman: The Magical Quest Game is one of the games seen most often on The Big Bang Theory. The game is intended for 2-6 players, and a variety of expansion packs (Reaper, Dungeon, Frostmarch, Highland and Sacred Pool) have been released for the game. The core game involves player control of characters who are trying to find the Crown of Command. The game involves imagination as the characters undertake various quests to reach the crown. Once the crown is found, the holder of the crown has the ability to become the kingdom's ruler. The game was first released in 1983, and has since undergone four revisions. The game takes at least two hours to play from start to finish, but it can be a great game for those wanting a more involved game that takes players on a fantasy adventure.
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A classic game seen on the show was Jenga. Jenga is the game where you stack the blocks and then pull blocks out one-by-one. If you make the stack collapse, then you lose the game. The game is a riot, and it is strangely addictive. Many people wind up playing multiple games of this in an afternoon. Since its inception, there have been many versions of this game. It can be played solo or with a group - the more the merrier!
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Mystic Warlords of Ka'a
This was a game that was originally made up for the show. This is the game Sheldon was playing against Wil Wheaton in the episode "The Creepy Candy Coating Corollary." Since the appearance of the game on the show, many individuals have been working to create the game. Rumor has it that due to popular demand, the creation of this game for sale is in the works. If you just can't wait for the official game to come out, and you want to play the game as a tester, you might want to check out the Mystic Warlords of Ka'a Alpha 2 torrent release at Demonoid. This game includes the cards mentioned in the episode. Other people are putting together a Mystic Warlords game using Magic the Gathering cards.
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Magic the Gathering
Magic the Gathering is a collectable card game that the fictional game, Mystic Warlords of Ka'a, was loosely based upon. Magic involves three main types of cards: lands, artifacts and creatures. Players collect cards and then build decks. While many build decks with their eyes looking toward winning, others often build decks for the novelty of the deck creation. The game requires multiple facets, including strategy, luck and possession of the right cards in your deck. It's definitely a game that The Big Bang Theory crew would enjoy.
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Another game the Big Bangers play is Klingon Boggle. While classic Boggle uses the English alphabet, this version uses the Klingon alphabet. You roll the letter dice and then arrange them. Once the letter dice are arranged, you may then formulate Klingon words. If you do not know Klingon, you can learn online at Hol'ampaS. This website even has a Klingon dictionary, and online Klingon Boggle for those who would like to play. You can alternatively convert regular Boggle to this super-nerdy version using contact paper. Write the Klingon letter in reverse using a permanent marker on the back of contact paper. Cut out the letter and stick it to one of the sides of the die. Repeat until all letters have been distributed.
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Tri D Chess
While it's difficult to imagine, the Tri D chess game that is on the show is available for purchase. You can also make the board. The game was inspired by Star Trek, and the rules operate much like regular chess. There are a few modifications to the rules, but they depend upon the classic chess movement restrictions and classic rules. If you're looking for a way to shake up the standard, then you may want to look into this game.
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Three Player Chess
In the show, Sheldon invents a version of chess that works with three players. The idea of three player chess is not new. While Sheldon gets creative and adds pieces, in the various existing versions of the games, there are no new pieces. Instead, except for movement rules governing the middle of the board, the movement of the various pieces is very similar to standard chess - except for the addition of a third player. There are a few versions of three player chess (and four player chess for those interested), but the one pictured to the right resembled Sheldon's creation the most.
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Dungeons and Dragons
Dungeons and Dragons is a role-playing game that has long held a spot in nerd lore. The game is traditionally based on pen and paper, however, some people like to use a dungeon map mat and figures to help visualize the setting. You can do just about anything in this game within only the limits determined by the dungeon master. Can you guess which BBT character would be the dungeon master on the show?
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Another creation dreamed up by Sheldon, the board game Research Lab is purely fictional as of the publishing of this article. Who knows, however, enough fan demand may call the makers of Big Bang Theory to release the game for fans to purchase. The game's slogan is "The physics is theoretical, but the fun is real!" I'll be curious to see whether this game makes it into the real-world.
I suppose someone could create a game similar to this one, but if you're really fiending for a science based game, you might want to look at the games The Biotech Game of Life and The Art of Science.
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BAZINGA! The Big Bang Theory Card Game
Finally, if you can't get enough BBT, you might want to take a look at the card game scheduled to be released in August 2011. This game will feature different pop culture references, situations from the show and card matching skills. The game will have more than 300 cards to facilitate gameplay.
While a lot of games have been featured on the show (and this list doesn't even look at the video games and online games mentioned), there's sure to be more games that the crew will play on screen in Season 5.
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The Big Bang Theory http://www.cbs.com/primetime/big_bang_theory/
Talisman and Jenga http://funagaingames.com
Mystic Aarlards of Ka'a Alpha 2 Torrent File; screenshot courtesy of author
Magic the Gathering http://www.wizards.com/Magic/Summoner/
Three Player Chess http://www.chesshouse.com/Large_3_Player_Chess_Set_p/e080.htm
The Biotech Game of Life http://www.scq.ubc.ca/the-biotech-game-of-life/
The Art of Science http://www.academicboardgames.co.uk/1-the-art-of-science.html
BBT Research Lab image courtesy of http://bigbangtheory.wikia.com/wiki/File:2010_Emmy_BBT_Research_Lab.jpg
Bazinga! The Big Bang Theory Card Game http://www.trollandtoad.com/p308248.html
Images courtesy of mentioned websites unless otherwise noted.