GameCareerGuide.com recently posted an article called On Game Design: A History of Video Games.
While it doesn’t treat the subject of game design very much, it does show you how games have evolved from the games of the past. The article takes you from ancient Egyptian board games to table-top pen-and-paper strategy and role-playing games through to the various console generations, arcade and PC games. Along the way, there are interviews with Ralph Baer, Ian Livingstone, and Steve Jackson.
Now, who wants to play a game of Combat?