This chapter draws on archival sources that have generally been underexplored in material and cultural history: board games. Paying close attention to the game board, rulebooks and other ephemera, it outlines how broader ideas of empire, travel and globalisation were constructed in games, and how these games were used as pedagogical devices. It is a clear reminder that ‘games’ and ‘play’, while often been associated with children or pleasure, are key sites of political and ideological reproduction. The chapter also demonstrates the potential richness facing games historians.