The Games That Bring Us Together (Summer Journey)

Sports and games are hurdling borders as never before, in the process breeding fresh champions, creating new wealth, and changing forever the lives of individuals and the destiny of nations

Field of Dreams (Football)

For many young men in the West African nation of Cameroon, football is a way to leave home — and poverty — behind. But the game can also be a road to despair

Pony Express (Polo)

In Pakistan, polo is more than just a sport for the leisure class. It gets you on the fast track to the top in life

Hoop City (Basketball)

In China's urban landscape, playing basketball on asphalt courts is a means to pump up street cred, to feel free, and maybe, just maybe, to embark on a journey that leads to NBA stardom

The Power Play (Rugby)

Rugby arrived in South Africa with the British settlers, was taken up by Afrikaner prisoners of war and later became a physical and ideological obsession. How a sport continues to define a nation

Prison Break (Boxing)

In Thailand, boxing gives convicts a fighting chance to punch their way out of jail — and create a new life free from crime

Riding a New Wave (Surfing)

Why surfers are inundating the frigid waters off Britain's rocky Cornwall coast

The Wired Bunch (Computer Gaming)

What do you get when you combine antisocial behavior, economic woes and the Internet? South Koreans have created what might be the future of spectator sport

The Indian Defense (Chess)

Virtually every nation or people has claimed to have invented chess. But the game's origin is clear: it's my own homeland India

Fast Living (Running)

Why a small town of farmers and herders in the Ethiopian highlands has consistently yielded many of the world's best distance runners. (It's not the water.)

Cue China (Snooker)

Snooker conjures up images of smoke-filled British pubs and bow-tied players on TV. But its newest face is Chinese

Leaps and Bounds (Parkour)

It's not quite a sport, and it is certainly no game. But for sheer athleticism, the French-born extreme activity parkour is unmatched as a spectacular thrill

Subcontinental Shift (Cricket)

The British invented it, but when it comes to dexterity, popularity and money, the game of cricket has been won over by India

Big Game Hunter (The Royal Game of Ur)

For decades, museum curator Irving Finkel has been on the trail of a 4,600-year-old board game. Here are the secrets he discovered

Crazy for Gold (China's Olympics)

Determined to knock the U.S. off the top of the Olympics podium, China's state-run sports schools are pushing their young students to the limit. Inside the medal machine

Essay: The Never-Ending Story

Even in this age of gadgetry and high-tech distractions, the unadorned games of our past remain the most enduring — and endearing

To Our Readers: Serious Fun

This year's Summer Journey double issue zooms in on the games people play, and the myriad ways they are transforming lives the world over


An Uplifting Power

Sport is more than fun and games. It can inspire individuals, teach the young what's right and transform lives for the better


General Command

Bangladesh's little-known military chief, Moeen Uddin Ahmed, wants to tame the country's unruly politics. But he may wind up snuffing out democracy itself


Sails and Acquisitions (Exhibition)

The artistic legacy of Portugal's maritime presence in Asia finds a permanent home at last


Seville: Old Charmer (Check In)

Seville finally has a hotel as seductive and romantic as legendary ladies' man, Don Juan

A Perfect Day in Helsinki (TIME Traveler)

Food writer Lydia Itoi's tips on where to eat and what to see in the Finnish capital