Shall we play?

Children and adults use the time they can spare from ‘required activities’ in different ways. Some of them come pre-approved by the all-knowing public, while others are in constant debate.

There has been one debate building and festering for years regarding outdoor play versus indoor play with positive development in mind. The latter usually means something involving screens (bad for the eyes) and in dark rooms (bad due to the lack of Vitamin-D) and a significant lack of social skills since it is a conversation through a terminal of some sort. There is one version of gaming that does not play into these generalizations. It has always had its champions, its gatherings and all the official jargon associated with conventions and its ilk- I am talking about multiplayer board games. Board games being an umbrella term for everything from card games to cooperative games, which do not limit themselves to gambling or making money (albeit in a fictional setup).

I am a novice to this life, once thinking of them as an unnecessary expense but have since learned otherwise. Many of the better games are expensive but act as a form of investment. The intricacies of the game and the artwork and its popularity usually determine its cost. I could talk at length about individual games and how they might help you exercise your brain cells, but the range is too wide to box into a single article. Instead, I will just mention the overall positive reinforcement it can provide.
The classic games of monopoly/business are things of the past. A single-minded goal is unrealistic in the real world, something actively reflected in many games. We have to achieve something in life while at the same time ensuring day-to-day well being.
There are basically two types of games, one where you play against other players or all of you team up while the board/game tries to beat you to the end. In either of these cases, just winning no longer holds the prize. It is how you get to the victory that colours the hour or so taken to play out the rules. Getting fixated on one part of a goal does more harm than good (as in real life). Many of the more popular ones come with a highly complex backstory, and all the moves make sense as part of that story. It teaches people to think out of the box while adhering to some basic laws. It can also lead people to think of the others playing with them constantly and how each and everything they decide to do and how the ripple could affect another. The lessons one takes away from picking up a game varies based on which game it is, but there can be no denying that most times, even with the same people, no two days of playing would look the same. 

board, game, competition

All of these are conveniently available online as well so that you could team up with people across the globe. This defeats one primary purpose, to stay offline. The other disadvantage is that unless cheat codes are used in an online game, the rules will see themselves out, the items divvied up without us having to pay attention to those details. The attention to details can sharpen one’s mind as well as improve patience. The handling of physical pieces of the game, usually very tastefully done, provides tactile joy that the online version cannot offer. While there are many advantages to continue to develop and invest in online resources for gaming, these board games provide an effective alternative that should not be brushed aside.

Written by

Anjana Sundar

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