What is a folk game?

Sometimes referred to as playground games or children's games (though by no means restricted to children or the playground), folk games are games that are passed on by word of mouth and usually played in-person with minimal props.

Folk games are played in every part of the world, and often develop specific regional variations, in the form of different names or different rules for very similar games. As they are passed on by word of mouth and often adapted or modified in the process, folk games frequently embody specific, personal histories for their players.

What is this site?

This site collects a number of folk games collated by Niall Moody as part of his Game Design as Play research project at Abertay University.

The Game Design as Play project aims to research and develop games in which players are actively involved in the design of games as they play them.

Folk games fit into this project as an example of an already existing form where adaptation and modification of game rules is a natural, accepted part of the process.

A note on sources

I have listed sources for each game on this site. Note that these do not necessarily refer to the person or collective who originally created the game, but who/where I learned the game from. For those games I learned via the internet I have included links; otherwise I have named the person or book I learned them from.

Technical details

I have been documenting folk games as markdown files in Obsidian, stored locally on my harddrive (and mirrored to my phone using SyncThing). This site is effectively a public mirror of that Obsidian vault, with some custom code to transform the original markdown files into html. The site is designed so that I can just upload a new markdown file whenever I learn a new game.


This site was created (and will be sporadically updated) by Niall Moody

The site and its source code is released under the Anti-Capitalist Software License. You can read the full text of the license and its rationale here, but if you're looking for a summary, the important part is:

This is anti-capitalist software, released for free use by individuals and organizations that do not operate by capitalist principles.

You can view the source code for this site on glitch.

Infrastructure Credits

This site is built on the following platforms, frameworks, libraries, and fonts:

Last Updated

This site was last updated on Fri Dec 30 2022 11:31:20 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)