Play is important for the development of complex social, emotional, physical, and cognitive skills. Play provides young individuals with a safe space to practice new behaviors without grave repercussions. While most animals engage in play, only humans engage in rule-based games. Which kinds of games people play – competitive or cooperative – may depend on their cultural background. In a new study, researchers from Leipzig, Jena, Gera, and Australia screened historical data to answer the question whether cultures play games that correspond to how cooperative they are.