This entry starts a series in which I will discuss the benefits of board games in regard to play, storytelling, and education. In the coming articles, I will provide examples of specific board games and game mechanics to match each benefit.
One of the great things about board games is that you can reap their benefits whether or not it is your strict intention to do so. Just want to play for fun? You can do that. Want to focus on choosing games that allow you to practice specific skills? You can do that, too.
The Benefits: An Overview
The following benefits will be linked to their relevant article as this series is completed.
- Play is a natural human activity and board games are an outlet for play
- Board games are often educational and touch on topics of history, geography, mathematics, art, science, language, literature, sports, etc.
- Board games exercise the brain and body by engaging logic reasoning, critical thinking, deduction, hand/eye coordination and manual dexterity, memory recall, strategic planning, reading comprehension, number/letter recognition, pattern recognition, color/shape recognition, and imagination
- Socialization is a natural human need and playing board games is a great way to get face-to-face interaction with people
- Board games can promote teamwork and collaborative thinking, as well as how to win/lose and provide opportunities to learn from failure
- Board gaming can increase communication skills because many games require negotiation, persuasion, bluffing, and/or information sharing between players, not to mention the interpersonal communication that can naturally happen while playing games
- Board games can tell stories