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Tablero -- the origin
Folks in the SCA games community will probably appreciate this bit. I just stumbled across this page:

While it doesn't call it by name, it's clearly talking about the invention of Tablero de Jesus. Seems to fit the facts as previously established, and it sounds like the author of the game (apparently named Peter Swift, from the links) had nothing to do with the SCA. That's comforting.

Context, for those coming newly into this: Tablero de Jesus is one of the most popular games in the SCA; the drinking-game variation, Tablero da Gucci, is often called the national game of An Tir. We always believed it was period, but some years back, in a conversation with Thierry Depaulis, I was thoroughly disabused of that notion -- the documentation turned out to be utter nonsense if you actually dug into it. (The moral of the story is that just because something is documented doesn't mean it is *true*. Documentation has to be substantiated.) Our conclusion was that the game pretty much had to be a deliberate hoax.

Ever since then I've been wondering who came up with the hoax, so it's good to finally get a *little* closure on that. I was just reading the story of When Dickens Met Dostoevsky, which is a tale of truly *epic* hoaxing and sock-puppetry (long, but worth the read), and was reminded to try a little surfing, and came across this little confession. (And yes, I've made a copy of the article for posterity, in case the author of the blog follows through with his threat to take the story down...)

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Oooh. Interesting. I'd read the Dickens parts as well (likely following the same link as you), and it is pretty clear what the motives there are. Now to read up on this and find out what drives this hoax....

Maybe it's just that I'm coming right from the land of academic papers and authoritative sources, but I had always assumed that documentation was required to take on the character of an academic paper, with citations of every claim made and reference to primary sources if possible.

Required, no, but it's a good idea. But the thing is, the documentation for Tablero *has* a bunch of that. Not academic-grade, but for a commercially-sold board game, the documentation was exceptionally detailed. But every last bit of it is made-up. If you know a good deal of history, the scam is pretty obvious (which is why Thierry, a serious scholar, was skeptical about the whole thing from the start). But it was a real lesson for us armchair types. It *sounded* right, it was *structured* right -- it was just all invented...

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