This article is from the Backgammon FAQ, by Mark Damish firstname.lastname@example.org with numerous contributions by others.
``Backgammon is an obstacle race between two armies of 15 men each,
moving around a track divided into 24 dagger-like divisions known as
``It's just a game.''
``Sport of mind.''
.. Alberto da Pra, President of WBF - Worldwide Backgammon
``It's a game of skill and luck. When I win I can claim it's due to
my good skill. When I lose I can claim it's due to my bad luck.''
-- submitted by David Forthoffer email@example.com
``Backgammon is one of the oldest games in existence, dating back
some 5000 years and believed to have been developed by the ancient
Egyptians. It is not a game of luck as many believe, but a strategic
game of war; in many ways as difficult to master as chess or Go. A
random element (luck) is certainly involved, but a champion player
also uses the laws of probability, intuition, imagination and
psychology to outwit his opponent''.
-- From the foward of the Expert Backgammon (Mac) documentation.
``There's an aesthetic to the game, a flow. People think the game
consists primarily of math --- calculating odds and so forth. That's
not true. It's essentially a game of patterns, a visual game, like
chess. Certain patterns fit together harmoniously, make sense in a
away that is nontrivial.''
-- Paul Magriel
Answering ``Why do you play backgammon'':
``We have become a spectator society, one that experiences
excellence and creativity only by watching it on television or by
reading about it in newspapers or magazines...Perhaps the best way
of becoming something more than a spectator is to pursue activities
that do not receive mass media coverage. We can invent our own art
forms, or at least re-label existing forms as art. Backgammon,
though it is very old and very common, is an excellent art form.
Patterns of points and blots undergo poignant mutations. The player
strains to work with them, to control them. One's identity is not
entirely intrinsic, nor is it purely acquired. We can shape
ourselves just as we can shape our surroundings. By playing
backgammon, that is - by creating patterns of blots and points - I
help to shape my identity, I set myself apart from the spectators. I
-- Felix Yen (from Anchors, Jan 92)