Psychologists have done numerous studies of inmates in prison. Do you know what key attribute that they overwhelmingly have in common? They didn’t play board games as children. We tend to dismiss games as idle entertainment. Actually, games are how we learn. They are teaching devices. Here are just a few of the things we learn from board games in general as children:
- The concept of rules. Authority. The importance of following rules, enforcing rules. The game would quickly break down if everyone cheats or ignores the rules. In many ways this is the basis of morality.
- The ability to detect patterns.
- The ability to plan ahead.
- Prediction of outcomes.
- Consequences. We learn how our success or failure is dependent upon our choices.
- How to accept losing with grace.
- How to win with grace.
- Communication skills.
- Perseverance. Continuing to play even though a successful outcome is impossible.
- Treating others fairly.
Video games are great. There are many good things about them. Some are better than others. What do they teach? What do you want to learn? The big thing missing in video games is the social component. Teams. Alliances. Cooperation. Negotiations. Direct interaction with a living breathing human across the table. To some extents, this is possible in video games. Some video games are moving more to this direction. We hope it continues and would like to see more development in this area. After all, it comes down to people.