Three persons walking into a world of games. Illustration.

A world of games

April 1 2023 - April 2025

Game on! Welcome to an exhibition on games and gaming through the ages. Here, 4,000-year-old board games meet today's gaming culture, with games from around the world side by side. In the exhibition, you can challenge friends, learn about forbidden games, and play copies of games from the collections. The die is cast! Exhibition entry is included in the annual pass.


In all times and places, humans have played together. Games are a way to meet and socialize – both physically and virtually. We can use them to resolve conflicts, predict the future, or connect with divine beings. Common to all types of games is that there are rules that the players must follow, rules that can vary across groups and across time and space.

Games and play have had an enormous impact on human development. Through games we practise many skills, not least sociability. Just as people evolve, new games are constantly evolving. You can follow this development from past to present in the exhibition. 


The National Museums of World Cultures’ collection contains many games that span different times and places. Now, we're bringing these items out of storage, some presented to visitors for the first time – alongside newer board games, role-playing games, LARP games and digital games, such as arcade games, indie games, and e-sports.

The exhibition will also feature players from around the world presenting their favourite games. We created the exhibition with several partners.These include the Digital Ludeme Project, a research project on how games have spread throughout history, led by Cameron Browne at Maastricht University and funded by the European Research Council (ERC)

Games are not always easy and fun – the exhibition also highlights games about money and power and games that have been banned for various reasons. These are just two examples of how games can serve as a starting point for a wider exploration of different cultures and historical events.


During the exhibition period, you can listen to exciting lectures, meet passionate gaming associations, and experience music related to gaming and gambling. You can view all upcoming events here.

Do you have an activity you would like to collaborate on? Send your proposal to programforslag@varldskulturmuseerna.se.