The Game Changers

How Playing Games Changed the World and Can Change You Too

Tim Clare

The Game Changers by Tim Clare (Hardback ISBN 9781805301349) book cover

Available as Hardback, eBook, Downloadable audio

7 November 2024

Filled with humour, thrill and insight, The Game Changers explores the world of games, showing how they have shaped human history and why we should play them

‘The best book on games I’ve read in years’ G.T. KARBER, the number one Sunday Times bestselling author of MURDLE

Why is playing games a universal human instinct?
Why did the same games evolve across wildly different civilisations?
And how can those games make your life happier, healthier and more fulfilled?

The history of board games is really the history of human civilisation. Through it we see how our species has learned to live with one another, make deals, take on different roles and manage the ups and downs of luck.

In this entertaining and thought-provoking look at games through the ages, Tim Clare explores the legal highs of a good dice roll, the thrills of a predatory race game and the tactile pleasures of the games that age with us through our lives to discover how, through play, we become fully ourselves.

Drawing on Roman anti-cheating devices, organised crime card syndicates and the combative domestic bonding ritual of Monopoly, The Game Changers explains why games are more popular now than ever, and how playing them helps us learn to be better losers, make smarter decisions and become more human.


“Brilliant and hilarious. The best book on games I’ve read in years”
G.t. Karber, #1 Sunday Times Bestselling Author Of Murdle

See more reviews

“A deep, poetic dive into game-playing and its role in human society and mental health. Table-top games are examined and celebrated, from dice to Monopoly to Pokémon”
Janice Hallet

“Let me tell you, this book is a love letter. It’s infectious”
Ivan Brett From The Traitors

”Praise for Coward: Fascinating, thought-provoking, vulnerable and generous”
Cathy Rentzenbrink

“This is the best book I’ve ever read on anxiety, health and being an anxious person on this planet … [a] gift of a book”
Emma Gannon


Tim Clare

Tim Clare is an award-winning writer, poet and creative-writing podcaster. He is the author of We Can’t All Be Astronauts and Coward, and the novels The Honours and The Ice House. He has performed his work at festivals and clubs across the world, on BBC TV and radio. Tim has also written for the Guardian, Times, Independent and Big Issue, and presents the creative-writing podcast Death Of 1,000 Cuts.

@timclarepoet | timclarepoet.co.uk