I've just had a chance to catch up with the first part of a three part series about gaming on BBC4. Games Britannia is part of the Game On season, celebrating the act of play. This three parter by historian Benjamin Woolley "looks at how popular games in Britain, from the Iron Age to the Information Age, are a rich source of cultural and social history".
The first part takes the viewer from the 1st century BC to the Victorian age and the birth of the first commercial games industry. It was during this period that games from around the Empire (but particuarly the orient) were Anglicised and turned into the games we recognise today as Snakes and Ladders and Ludo.
Next weeks programme looks at the political & social impact of boardgames. I'm also assuming there will be some mention of Roleplaying games as this thread on EN World suggests at least one gaming group were approached and asked to play D&D for the camera's.