In ancient times, playing games has been considered as
not very relevant. It appears in paintings sometimes, but is not emphasised as relevant subject for theoretical discussions. In medieval times playing games was even considered as bad, since it degrades working power and promotes sin and vice (Parmentier 2004).
An important change in the perception of games is expressed in Bruegels
painting “Kinderspiele” (childrens games), which was first published in 1553. Playing games was more and more considered as a sphere with a value of its own. The right of people to play became accepted – as long as playing contributes to something useful, like the stimulation of mental abilities (Parmentier 2004).
This understanding of playing games was picked up in pedagogical
considerations by Basedow in the 18th century (Overhoff 2004). Basedow suggested to convert all games children play into something useful. Therefore, Basedow applied games to teach subjects like latin or biology. This idea to apply games for teaching something useful is still widespread today, particularly in concepts for digital game based learning (Pivec 2007) or serious games.