Benefits Beyond the Ages: Big Reasons Board Games are Still a Favorite Family Pastime
An American classic in family entertainment fun, the traditional board game is more than mere nostalgia. Board games are valuable developmental and socialization tools known to stimulate mental acuity, and responsible human interaction. A pastime that everyone can enjoy, the board game offers benefits not always found in the more recently introduced video game formats now comprising much of the gaming market.
The benefits of board games for child development associated with family closeness and communication supports the idea that parental and sibling interaction is essential to a child’s evolving self-identity as a reasoned and socially adept thinker. Considered to be beneficial for modeling cognitive and behavioral norms during a child’s formative years, board game play interactions advance critical thinking skills identification of cause and effect, hand-eye, and motor skills coordination, self-esteem building, as well as the psychological conditioning of “sportsmanship” style winning and losing reactions.
The learning benefits of table top games like Clue, Trivial Pursuit and Scrabble are unmatched. The trend in conversion and redesign of traditional games in digital app form illustrates that the board game is not passé. As new formats are innovated, the board game will continue to be an inspiration in the development and innovation of these new interactive gaming technologies. How board games are framed has much to do with their efficacy as learning tools. Board game players are encouraged to tackle challenges with pure reasoning.
Learning benefits associated with board game play are associated with core knowledge building elements. New lexicons or taxonomies innate to the protocol of a game, foster language acquisition and deductive reasoning in the context of play. Adoption of board games by education institutions as instructional tools, support the argument that gaming interactions have the potential to improve student test performance. Board games boost analytical ability. If a student is conditioned to respond to a game challenge with precision, and in a decisive manner, demonstrated the impact of the interactive gaming experience is invaluable to the learning process.
The interactive board game is a simulated environment, where the breakdown social barriers are made possible. In many cases, board games offer a participatory model based on team consensus building. Popular board games Monopoly, Trouble and Sorry luck set the stage for imminent win or lose. Competitive board games may also offer players opportunities to outwit opponents in high-risk scenarios and exhibit sportsmanship to stay in the game. Deep socialization of norms and mores takes place, as players agree on shared decisions, as well as turn taking, waiting, and coping with losses.
Mental Health Benefits
Board games are also thought to be exceptional for assisting dementia patients undergoing memory treatment. Believed to increase cognition and recollection, the mental health benefits of regular board game playing reduce the signs of memory loss have the potential of improving the quality of life for patients through interactive play with tools that stimulate the mind.