Millán Mozota, reader of this blog and author of a Neanderthal-specialized one in Spanish language, mentions today the existence of a new role-playing game on Paleolithic hunter-gatherers in the European landscape of some 35,000 years ago.
The game is titled Würm, for the last Ice Age, which bears that name in Europe, and it deals with the adventures of hunter-gatherers of both species believed to have coexisted in that space-time: H. neanderthalensis (“bear-men” in the game) and H. sapiens (“long men”).
As happens with this kind of games, all the basic material is a rulebook, available for download in PDF format HERE. A de luxe edition is also available HERE (€29.95). The problem for most readers of this blog will surely be that it only seems available in French by the moment.
Still I must welcome the idea because it is something I have always found missing in the offer of games. And the usual dynamics of role-play games (party of adventurers and such, think The Lord of the Rings if you are unfamiliar) adjusts almost ideally to the kind of dynamics a small hunter-gatherer band would have faced in those times.
Also, in addition to the thrill and enjoyment of any game, it adds educative value, as the game seems to be rather well documented. Hopefully the game will be successful enough to be translated to other languages.
Neanderthal and Sapiens newborns were not that different
Also a brief note for Neanderthal-addicts (and in general people interested in human evolution): there is a new open access article at Current Biology on Neanderthal newborn head physiognomy (found at Dienekes). It seems that baby Neanderthals were somewhat but not too different from those of our species. This similitude may be caused by the physiological constraints of birthgiving, because as the adults develop the differences increase quite a bit.