Floor Games

Floor Games is a book published in 1911 by H. G. Wells. This light-hearted volume argues in a humorously dictatorial tone that "The jolliest indoor games for boys and girls demand a floor."[1] Illustrated with photographs and drawings, it briefly describes a number of games that can be played on "well lit and airy" floors with "four main groups" of toys: soldiers about two inches high (Wells regrets the "curse of militarism" that makes civilians hard to find), largish wooden bricks, boards and planks,[2] and electric railway rolling stock and rails.[3] Various remarks show that the book is based on Wells's experience of playing such games with his two sons, George Philip "Gip" Wells (1901-1985) and Frank Richard Wells (1903-1982), identified here only by their initials.

Although Floor Games is often characterized as a "companion book" to Wells's Little Wars (1913), the earlier book was conceived of as a self-standing volume so that the author might later write a book devoted purely to war games.[4] Floor Games describes mostly specific games for young children, whereas Little Wars describes war games for older children and adults.

Wells describes how the boards and planks can be used to set up various imaginative geographies to play the "game of wonderful islands" in which the floor is the sea,[5] create the setting for "twin cities" (to allow his two sons a measure of independence in their creations),[6] or undertake engineering projects (he describes the building of funiculars in some detail).

During World War II, the toy soldiers that inspired Floor Games and Little Wars were confiscated by the police from Wells's son (by Rebecca West) Anthony West, on account of his pacifism.[7]

Floor Games has been regarded as a precursor not only of learning through play but also of nonverbal child psychotherapy.[8] Along with Little Wars, the book has often been reprinted. A recent edition of the book was published by Skirmisher Publishing LLC in 2006 and includes a foreword by game design giant James F. Dunnigan an introduction by game designer and author Michael J. Varhola.

Floor Games
AuthorH. G. Wells
IllustratorJ.R. Sinclair
PublisherFrank Palmer; in U.S., Small, Maynard and Company (1912)
Publication date
December 1911

External links


  1. ^ H.G. Wells, Floor Games, §1.
  2. ^ Wells claimed that "our planks and boards, and what one can do with them, have been a great discovery. . . . there is no regular trade in them." He specified that the thicker and larger boards and planks should have gimlet-sized "holes bored through them" every four inches to enable them to support miniature groves of trees. Wells, Floor Games, §1.
  3. ^ H.G. Wells, Floor Games, §1.
  4. ^ H.G. Wells, Floor Games, §4: "Of the war game I must either write volumes or nothing. For the present let it be nothing."
  5. ^ H.G. Wells, Floor Games, §2.
  6. ^ H.G. Wells, Floor Games, §3.
  7. ^ Michael Sherborne, H.G. Wells: Another Kind of LIfe (Peter Owen, 2010), p. 343. (Anthony West was born three years after Floor Games was published.)
  8. ^ See Barbara A. Turner's 2004 edition, published by Temenos Press of Coverdale, CA.
Andrew Scott Irving

Andrew Scott Irving (13 October 1837 – 29 April 1904) was a Scottish-born Canadian bookseller and publisher.

Irving was born in Annan in Scotland. He moved with his parents to the United States while still young. He relocated to Hamilton in the Province of Canada around 1857 or 1858 and found employment with the Detroit-based W. E. Tunis, a book and periodical distributor with a monopoly on the Great Western Railway in Canada.

In autumn 1862 Irving set up a bookstore on King and Jordan streets in Toronto, and soon expanded into wholesale. By the 1870s he was issuing inexpensive reproductions of popular novels and sheet music of popular songs under the imprint Irving's Five Cent Music. The imprint published 750 sheet music issues; when is uncertain as they lack copyright notices, but evidence suggests they may have appeared as early as the late 1860s and had ceased at around the mid-1880s; the majority appear to have been published in the first half of the 1880s; few were explicitly Canadian in content, and only five are known to have been by Canadians.Printing for Irving was handled at John Ross Robertson's Daily Telegraph, and Irving later owned stock on Robertson's Telegram Printing and Publishing Company, which printed the Toronto Evening Telegram. In 1873, Irving financed the printing of John Wilson Bengough's humorous weekly Grip. In partnership with Russel Wilkinson he ran another bookstore on Toronto Street called A. S. Irving and Company from 1874 to 1876.Irving turned focus on the printing and distribution of inexpensive popular reading material, such as paperbound books, particularly to the lucrative train passenger market. With Copp, Clark and Company, in 1876 Irving co-founded the Canadian News Company Limited (later renamed the Toronto News Company Limited). He soon had a stock that was said to be second only to the New York-based American News Company. With Samuel Edward Dawson, W. V. Dawson, and Copp, Clark and Company, Irving was involved in the incorporation of the Montreal News Company in 1880. From 1881 Irving was a member of the Toronto Region Board of Trade, and was a director of the Great North Western Telegraph Company and other companies. The warehouse of the Toronto News Company in 1884 was a four-story building, selling stationery on the first floor, games and greeting cards on the second, mass-market books and sheet music on the third, and a distribution centre on the fourth, with a box for each customer of the company's in Canada, the US, and Britain.The majority of the shares in the Toronto News Company Limited were owned by two of the co-founders of the American News Company by 1889, and Irving's company eventually became a subsidiary of the American company, of which Irving owned shares. The Toronto News Company name itself lasted until 1918. With his wife Eliza (née Morgan), he had two sons and a daughter; one son died in childhood, another, Andrew Maxwell, died in 1896, and his daughter Nellie died in 1900. Irving's two granddaughters inherited most of his estate on his death in Toronto on 29 April 1904. Irving was buried in St. James Cemetery in Toronto.Irving is remembered as a pioneer in Canadian publishing, and had a reputation for discouraging the distribution of what was considered "trash" literature, promoting instead light literature with higher repute.

Anthony West (author)

Anthony West (4 August 1914 – 27 December 1987) was a British author and literary critic.

H. G. Wells

Herbert George Wells (21 September 1866 – 13 August 1946) was an English writer. He was prolific in many genres, writing dozens of novels, short stories, and works of social commentary, satire, biography, and autobiography, and even including two books on recreational war games. He is now best remembered for his science fiction novels and is often called a "father of science fiction", along with Jules Verne and Hugo Gernsback.During his own lifetime, however, he was most prominent as a forward-looking, even prophetic social critic who devoted his literary talents to the development of a progressive vision on a global scale. A futurist, he wrote a number of utopian works and foresaw the advent of aircraft, tanks, space travel, nuclear weapons, satellite television and something resembling the World Wide Web. His science fiction imagined time travel, alien invasion, invisibility, and biological engineering. Brian Aldiss referred to Wells as the "Shakespeare of science fiction". His most notable science fiction works include The Time Machine (1895), The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896), The Invisible Man (1897), The War of the Worlds (1898) and the military science fiction The War in the Air (1907). Wells was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature four times.Wells's earliest specialised training was in biology, and his thinking on ethical matters took place in a specifically and fundamentally Darwinian context. He was also from an early date an outspoken socialist, often (but not always, as at the beginning of the First World War) sympathising with pacifist views. His later works became increasingly political and didactic, and he wrote little science fiction, while he sometimes indicated on official documents that his profession was that of journalist. Novels such as Kipps and The History of Mr Polly, which describe lower-middle-class life, led to the suggestion that he was a worthy successor to Charles Dickens, but Wells described a range of social strata and even attempted, in Tono-Bungay (1909), a diagnosis of English society as a whole. A diabetic, Wells co-founded the charity The Diabetic Association (known today as Diabetes UK) in 1934.

H. G. Wells (crater)

H. G. Wells is a lunar impact crater that is located on the far side of the Moon, behind the northeastern limb. It lies to the south of the crater Millikan, and to the northeast of Cantor. Just to the southeast is the smaller Tesla.

This large formation is most notable for the extremely battered state of its outer rim. Little or nothing remains of the original rim, so completely has it been eroded and incised by smaller craters. As a result, the crater floor is now surrounded by a ring of irregular peaks and worn crater valleys. This rugged surroundings intrudes only part way into the interior, while the remaining floor is relatively level and in some places gently rolling. The interior is marked only by a multitude of tiny craterlets.

The writer H. G. Wells earned the right to have a Moon crater named after him by his well-known science fiction, including the novel The First Men in the Moon.

In the Abyss

"In the Abyss" is a short story by English writer H. G. Wells, first published in 1896 in Pearson's Magazine. It was included in The Plattner Story and Others, a collection of short stories by Wells first published in 1897. The story describes a journey to the ocean bed in a specially-designed metal sphere; the explorer within discovers a civilization of human-like creatures.

Joseph Wells (cricketer)

Joseph Wells (14 July 1828 – 14 October 1910) was an English cricketer and father of the noted author H. G. Wells.

Little Wars

Little Wars is a set of rules for playing with toy soldiers, written by English novelist H. G. Wells in 1913. The book, which had a full title of Little Wars: a game for boys from twelve years of age to one hundred and fifty and for that more intelligent sort of girl who likes boys' games and books, provided simple rules for miniature wargaming. Although first printed in 1913, an updated version was released in 2004.

Margaret Lowenfeld

Margaret Frances Jane Lowenfeld (4 February 1890 – 2 February 1973) was a British pioneer of child psychology and play therapy, a medical researcher in paediatric medicine, and an author of several publications and academic papers on the study of child development and play. Lowenfeld developed a number of educational techniques which bear her name and although not mainstream, have achieved international recognition.

Michael O. Varhola

Michael O. Varhola (born September 24, 1966) is an author, publisher, and lecturer. He has written numerous books, games, and articles, and founded game development company and manufacturer Skirmisher Publishing LLC. He also served as the assistant editor of The Hilltop Reporter, a weekly newspaper located in Texas Hill Country. In 1997, he married Diane Varhola. In 2003, he changed his middle name from James to Odysseus, but did not start using it publicly until 2011.

Varhola is a 1993 graduate of University of Maryland, College Park, from which he received a B.S. in journalism. Other schools he attended include the Metropolitan State University of Denver, Colorado, and the American University of Paris. He graduated from high school at Carson Long Military Institute in New Bloomfield, Pennsylvania.

Varhola has authored or co-authored the non-fiction books Everyday Life During the Civil War (1999), Fire and Ice: The Korean War, 1950-1953 (2000),

D-Day: The Invasion of Normandy, June 6, 1944 (2001), Shipwrecks and Lost Treasure of the Great Lakes (2007), Ghosthunting Virginia (2008), Ghosthunting Maryland (2009), Life in Civil War America (2011), Texas Confidential: Sex, Scandal, Murder, and Mayhem in the Lone Star State (2011). He also wrote the fiction title Swords of Kos: Necropolis (2012).

Varhola is the co-author of several gaming books, including Experts (2002), Warriors (2003), Tests of Skill (2004), Nuisances (2005), Experts v.3.5 (2005), Nation Builder (2005), Gary Gygax's Gygaxian Fantasy Worlds Volume 6: Nation Builder (2006), H.G. Wells' Little Orc Wars (2007), Nuisances: Director's Cut (2007), and City Builder: A Guide to Designing Communities (2011).

Varhola published and wrote introductions to editions of H.G. Wells' Little Wars (2004) and Floor Games (2006) and Robert Louis Stevenson's Stevenson at Play.

Skirmisher Publishing

Skirmisher Publishing LLC is a publisher of wargames, roleplaying games and historic reprints based in Spring Branch, Texas, USA. It was founded by the author, editor and game designer Michael J. Varhola and is co-owned by Robert "Mac" McLaughlin, Oliver Cass and Geoffrey Weber.

About half of Skirmisher's products have been published under the d20 System, a system of game mechanics for role-playing games published in 2000 by Wizards of the Coast, that is based on the third edition of Dungeons & Dragons and named after the 20-sided die which is central to the core mechanics of the system.

Skirmisher products created for the d20 system include the books Experts (2002), Warriors (2003), Tests of Skill (2004), Nuisances (2005) and Experts v.3.5 (2005). Artists whose work appears in these books include Brendan Cass, Dragan Ciric, Sharon L. Daugherty, William Hazzard II, Phil "Shade" Kightlinger and Lissanne Lake, noted for her numerous Dragonmagazine covers, and Geoffrey Weber.

Other notable Skirmisher publications include a reprint of the H.G. Wells 1913 wargaming classic Little Wars (2004) — which the company republished in a self-standing form for the first time in 27 years, a reprint of Wells' 1911 work Floor Games (2006), which includes a foreword by the game designer James F. Dunnigan, and the third edition of the Cthulhu Live live-action roleplaying game.

The company also has a line of Orc miniatures that it has dubbed the "Orcs of the Triple Death" and which it supports with a series of products that include d20 game statistics and descriptive text.

The Argonauts of the Air

"The Argonauts of the Air" is a short story by H. G. Wells, first published in 1895 in Phil May's Annual. It was included in the collection of Wells short stories The Plattner Story and Others, published by Methuen & Co. in 1897.Written several years before the first flight of the Wright brothers, it describes the painstaking development of a flying machine, in the face of public amusement, and its unsuccessful trial flight over London.

Wells lived at one time in Worcester Park, where the machine is launched; he studied at the Royal College of Science, where it crashes.

The Cone

"The Cone" is a short story by H. G. Wells, first published in 1895 in Unicorn. It was intended to be "the opening chapter of a sensational novel set in the Five Towns", later abandoned.The story is set at an ironworks in Stoke-on-Trent, in Staffordshire. An artist is there to depict the industrial landscape; the manager of the ironworks discovers his affair with his wife, and takes him on a tour of the factory, where there are dangerous features.

The Diamond Maker

"The Diamond Maker" is a short story by H. G. Wells, first published in 1894 in the Pall Mall Budget. It was included in The Stolen Bacillus and Other Incidents, the first collection of short stories by Wells, first published in 1895.

In the story, a businessman hears an account from a man who has devoted years attempting to make artificial diamonds, only to end as a desperate outcast.

The Plattner Story

"The Plattner Story" is a short story by English writer H. G. Wells, first published in 1896 in The New Review. It was included in The Plattner Story and Others, a collection of short stories by Wells first published in 1897, and in The Country of the Blind and Other Stories, a collection of his short stories first published in 1911. In the story, a man recounts his experiences in a parallel world.

The Sea Raiders

"The Sea Raiders" is a short story by H. G. Wells, first published in 1896 in The Weekly Sun Literary Supplement. It was included in The Plattner Story and Others, a collection of short stories by Wells published by Methuen & Co. in 1897. It was included in The Country of the Blind and Other Stories, a collection of short stories by Wells published by Thomas Nelson & Sons in 1911.The story describes a brief period when a previously unknown sort of giant squid, which attacks humans, is encountered on the coast of Devon, England.

University of Western Ontario

The University of Western Ontario (UWO), corporately branded as Western University as of 2012 and commonly shortened to Western, is a public research university in London, Ontario, Canada. The main campus is located on 455 hectares (1,120 acres) of land, surrounded by residential neighbourhoods and the Thames River bisecting the campus' eastern portion. The university operates twelve academic faculties and schools. It is a member of the U15, a group of research-intensive universities in Canada.

The university was founded on 7 March 1878 by Bishop Isaac Hellmuth of the Anglican Diocese of Huron as "The Western University of London Ontario". It incorporated Huron University College, which had been founded in 1863. The first four faculties were Arts, Divinity, Law and Medicine. The Western University of London became non-denominational in 1908. Beginning in 1919, the university has affiliated with several denominational colleges. The university grew substantially in the post-World War II era, as a number of faculties and schools were added to university.

Western is a co-educational university, with more than 24,000 students, and with over 306,000 living alumni worldwide. The university has been recognized by a number of publications that rank university performance, including the Academic Ranking of World Universities, the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, QS World University Rankings, and the U.S. News & World Report Best Global University Ranking. Notable alumni include government officials, academics, business leaders, Nobel Laureates, Rhodes Scholars, and distinguished fellows. Western's varsity teams, known as the Western Mustangs, compete in the Ontario University Athletics conference of U Sports.

Æpyornis Island

"Æpyornis Island", or "Aepyornis Island", is a short story by H. G. Wells, first published in 1894 in the Pall Mall Budget. It was included in The Stolen Bacillus and Other Incidents, the first collection of short stories by Wells, first published in 1895.

In the story, a man looking for eggs of Aepyornis, an extinct flightless bird, passes two years alone on a small island with an Aepyornis that has hatched.

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