Tom Scott vs Irving Finkel: The Royal Game of Ur | PLAYTHROUGH | International Tabletop Day 2017

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YouTuber Tom Scott has flown drones through lightning, he’s taken on the first human-powered theme park, he’s even visited Penistone. But he’s never taken on a British Museum curator in the world’s oldest playable board game… UNTIL NOW! For International Tabletop Day 2017, Tom Scott was challenged by British Museum Curator Irving Finkel to a round of the oldest playable board game in the world – The Royal Game of Ur – a game whose rules were rediscovered and deciphered by Irving himself. Interested in other mysterious cuneiform tablets deciphered by Irving? Check out his book 'The Ark before Noah' to find out how he discovered the oldest account of the Ark myth: How Irving deciphered the rules to the Royal Game of Ur:


holysmokes44 : "I'm still kind of astonished that there is something that old, just sitting there." That wasn't very nice of you, Tom.

James George : I didn't know who this wonderful man was less than 20 minutes ago, he is the perfect combination of old man and aggressive fanboy.

Chris Relhard : oh my god, he is exactly who i'd imagine if you said "old man who hates maths, deciphered an ancient game's rules, and lures civilians into his lair to decimate them at said game". i love him.

Cerius Deluge : " lasted 3.000 years." So it was like playing Risk.

Diego Durán Castillo : "I never use mathematics or statistics or calculations or anything at all like that, because I can't do it, so I just hope for the best..." Irving is my spirit museum curator

Richard B : Those footnotes were funnier than they needed to be. I hope I can go to the British museum some day.

Oh Really : I would guess Tom's age inbetween 12 and 50.

Xejn : "Come on 4 I need a 4" "If you want a 4 then you're less likely to get it if you say it out loud. Think it in your head and then roll a 4." *Rolls a 4* "...Yes very nice"

Anne Tan : Literally two men with the heart and soul of a child play an ancient game against each other in an attempt to bring it back. Best form of modern electronic publicity EVER!

svfutbol20 : 3000 Years from now, some guy is going to explain Magic the Gathering to a random person

Matthew Chant : i stopped this video to comment the fact that i've only seen irving finkle once, on this video, for one minute and fifteen seconds, and he is already my favourite youtube personality ever.

Mini Wizard : Love the editting of both the game played and the interjected interview elements providing additional information, but the banter between you two really brought this wonderful ancient game back to life.

Yashee Sinha : I NEVER use mathematics OR statistics OR CALCULATIONS *OR ANYTHING AT ALL LIKE THAT* because I can't do it.

jocax188723 : A historian and a scientist sit down for a game... This is oddly compelling.

Martin B : You guys should play this against the guys at the Acropolis museum. Winner keeps the Elgin Marbles.

Joseph Mottram : "... Yes, this was definitely a game played by the upper orders of society, given the cost in purchasing, building, and painting the pieces required, and while it is described as a strategy game, the use of dice as a core component means there was a very heavy degree of luck involved in actually playing it." "And what did the ancients call this curious and seemingly completely illogical game?" "Apparently, it was named after its setting: 'Warhammer 40,000'..."

Kite Flying Pooh : This is the most tense moment in gaming history. The alien invasion of Romani Ranch is a close second.

S D : Tom: "I threw a zero, I've thrown a lot of those" Irving: "You have. Is that part of your strategy? "

Wraithninja1 : Playing a mysterious ancient game against a man who (by the look of him) is obviously a powerful wizard? I think your chances of winding up under a terrible curse are well above acceptable levels of risk.

Systlin : "I can read cuneiform, but maths is beyond me." As someone who taught myself Norse runes and Egyptian hieroglyphs and is attempting to learn the languages that go with them, and who also considers calculus a terrifying esoteric discipline invented to torture my high school self, I felt a deep, nearly spiritual connection to Dr. Finkel at that moment. Also, MAKE THE REPLICA, LET ME GIVE YOU MY MONEY FOR IT.

Jen : WHY does Mr. Finkel not have his own show?!

Reginald Mustard Bacon : May Gilgamesh and Enkidu bless this

Victor Brueggemann : I would purchase a replica of this game, if it were made available again. However, without being able to travel to London to play it against "one of" the greatest players of the game in the modern world, that does rub some of the luster off of it.

[sic] : That's the trouble with board games, someone always loses the instructions. :P

The Harlequin : 8:48 'How do you pick up these dice?!' 'It's a wasted youth thing...' You just gotta love this guy.

Sad : 5:55 "And of course we have to play speaking Sumerian."

Lieutenant Ivan : The probabilities of the dice are binomial, that is, that the number '2' is the most likely number, and the numbers '1', and '4' are the least likely number. This unequal distribution of probability is historically relevant, for that the Sumerians must have deliberately chose this arrangement instead of a simple four-sided tetrahedronal die to make the game more interesting. It will be good, if more games were like this system, instead of simple equal distribution. P(0) = 4C0 x (1/2)^4 = 1 x 1/16 = 1/16 = 6.25% ; P(1) = 4C1 x (1/2)^4 = 4 x 1/16 = 1/4 = 25% ; P(2) = 4C2 x (1/2)^4 = 6 x 1/16 = 3/8 = 37.5% ; P(3) = 4C3 x (1/2)^4 = 4 x 1/16 = 1/4 = 25% ; P(4) = 4C4 x (1/2)^4 = 1 x 1/16 = 1/16 = 6.25% ;

Weston Hettinger : Terrible moves on Scott's part, that endgame was terrible. I was thinking "WHAT ARE YOU DOING DUMMY?! You're the mathematician, THINK!"

Sydney Burckert : What I expected- intellectuals discussing history and math What I got- Irving Finkel throwing some sick burns at Tom Scott

VIEWS FROM THE FOUR : Kinda how imma be with my kid..., I’ll teach you how to play, but as soon as you learn, I’ll destroy you and never give you the slightest doubt of your fathers abilities.

Temporal Driver : I like to imagine Irving just "forgot" to translate some of the rules, so he just has loads of undeciphered secret weapons up his sleeve

66crowie : Absolutely do market the game, and please include the drawer!😁

Robert Bosch : That was fun. Irving Finkle for Prime Minister!

PhantomSavage : That may be the single most British man to have lived.

Akasha Posegate : this man knows how to play the game because he was around when it was played, he’s very obviously immortal

Andreas Aristokrates : I need this game physically, I have a sister to pass on wisdom, quick so long she is still young and susceptible to false normals.

Interesting Facts : This was great! This man is fascinating, straight out of a Lord of The Rings book!

StealthyDead : "I hope you're not taking this domination personally" LOL says the guy who literally deciphered the rules of the game. I love Irving. His personality is great.

Veas Benong : npw i am imagining how james bond looks like in that year

roy arrowood : They should make an app

ShaddyCrunchum : I'm pretty sure this man was present for when the game was Invented

zai513 : First: I'd like one. Second: maybe a magnetized travel set, with a (I think tyeco©) sorry-esk dice popper.

trentonpass : I would love to buy this game and play.

MK B : Awww yeah! I was rooting for Prof. Dumbledore! Haha

madjack821 : “Violence and savagery” has he never played D&D??

Trish Short Lewis : Yes, I'd love to buy a replica of the Royal Game of Ur!

Hugh Broderick : Oh wretched visitor! I am the almighty curator of this ancient abode! Thou must beat me at Ur if thou wishest to not have to exit through the accursed gift shop!

Jinkstack S : This game looks fun, Irving is awesome, and this video was amazing!

Marksman : It's funny - - this random YouTuber Tom is clearly supposed to be the draw to bring in the audiences, but I have zero idea who he is, nor do I care. The older gentleman is, however, nothing short of amazing. He's the real star here! :-)