Yeah, why do we play board games? If you asked around, you are going to get the usual textbook answers like “it brings people together” and “the strategy helps with mental development” etc….
Going through the responses from the people we posed this question to… we have one word that sums everything up… IMAGINATION. and we will get back to that later.
Playing board games brings people closer, strengthens relationships, and can help you meet new people.
- Although this omits out the SOLO portion of board gaming (yes… there are solitaire board games around), some foundations of board game playing is cooperation. For most “Co-Op” games, the whole objective of the game is the puzzle of strategizing the right amount of cooperation from every player. It requires players to engage by teamwork. It is the perfect way to spend time in nice company and strengthen bonds with other human beings.
Playing board games increases brain function.
- Its exercise for your brain. Playing stimulates brain areas that are responsible for memory formation and complex thought processes for all ages. Engaging in play assists in practicing essential cognitive skills, such as decision making, higher level strategic thinking, and problem solving. And especially in competitive play games, we are often required to think from the perspective of the opponents. Questions like “What is his/her likely most efficient and beneficial move?” or “How do i block his path there?” will definitely keep the brain occupied.
Playing board games teaches you how to set goals and be patient.
- Winning takes strategy and patience. With the critical questions(see above) in mind, now a decision needs to be made. Do I or Do I not? Or there isn’t any question at all… Maybe the strategy is reactive. Lets see what they do and i will respond accordingly. In a happy environment these things are learned in a stress-free and challenging but fun way.
Playing board games is great for reducing stress and makes for laughter.
- A side effect of board game playing is laughter. It is one of the vital ingredients for an enjoyable learning experience and increasing creativity. Also, laughing and having a good time in general helps to decrease stress.
Playing board games enhances creativity and self-confidence.
- Playing board games is a perfect opportunity to connect and open up; it also helps to display a creative side of personality in non-intrusive ways, which can be beneficial for quiet individuals. Board games are an amazing tool for shy children and timid adults. Playing helps them to develop stronger senses of individuality and creativity. This leads to greater self-esteem and a feeling of being included and noticed.
Now Back to IMAGINATION.
For all the reasons we have for playing board games… it all leads back to Imagination. From the likes of the Star Trek in the 60s where we imagined the devices and technological advances of the 23rd century, it eventually came to pass as our engineers and inventors alongside scientists making leaps and bounds in discovery and exploration.
It begins with an Imagination. The thoughts of how any idea would work. And we cultivate our imagination heavily through board games. Even the simple game of Monopoly, with the mere mention of the word “Bid”… flickers an image of an auction house in our minds. The dungeon corridors which we are treading carefully, spurs a plethora of possible sequences and dangers that could lurk by. While playing Terraforming Mars, a game about making the red planet habitable for humans, most of us can’t help thinking about that Utopian future or Bladerunner-ish setting under the rule of a mega corporation. Just like the one we are in control of while playing the game. Any board games, no matter cooperative or competitive harnesses the power of imagination which immerses the players into the theme. Roleplaying the characters are definitely a norm.
Imagination and creativity is believed to be an essential step in human development. It combines personal experience with external information, and by making life fulfilling and interesting helps to expand person’s inner world and build some significant and unique personality features.