5 Life Important Life Skills Taught by Board Games

To the outside eye, gaming may seem like pointless entertainment, but recently many have clued into something that Jean Piaget figured out in the 20th century. Which is the idea that games of all types can be a powerful tool for personal development, especially for young minds. Combine that with the fact that recent studies have shown that games can help reduce cognitive decline in the elderly, and you have a situation where people of all ages have good reason to enjoy a few games from time to time.

If you haven’t gotten into games before, board games are a good place to start. They are accessible, appealing to all ages, and offer plenty of room for personal development. Here are some of the lessons you can learn while enjoying a good board game.

1 – Group dynamics

Board games have players spending time together face to face, and their low-tech nature makes team play and group dynamics more important than ever. Even if you are playing against a single player on a chessboard, the game will only be fun if you both know the rules and put similar amounts of effort into it. And even then, it won’t be fun for long if both players can’t be good sports about winning or losing.

Games that involve bigger groups help people deal with and learn about more complex group dynamics. Trivia board games like Boom Again are a good example, as these often have players split into teams that compete not only against one another, but also within themselves as players enjoy showing off how much they know about the topics at hand.

2 – Dealing with defeat

If you play board games long enough you will face defeat dozens of times. Sometimes against opponents who are better than you, sometimes against people who just got lucky, or even people who cheated. These are all situations that also come up in real life, both in professional and academic environments, so learning how to deal with them in the context of board games can be quite valuable. 

3 – Dealing with success

You can also learn about the trappings of success by playing board games. We’ve all seen that player who got too far ahead in the points and grew careless, allowing the person in second place to overtake them. Or the player who let success get to their heads and spoiled the mood for the other players involved. Watching these behaviors during gaming sessions can give you clues into how to deal with success in real life.

4 – Resource management

This one is especially good for kids. Games that involve money or points that need to be spent to obtain objectives can do wonders to introduce basic economic principles. And for young kids, it can help them sharpen their understanding of basic mathematical operations.

Of course, there is also plenty that adults can learn about money and resources by playing these games.

5 – Strategy

A good game makes players consider the rules and the conditions of a play session before putting together a strategy for success. And this exercise, the act of taking stock of the current reality and coming up with a relevant strategy, can be an excellent training exercise for people of all ages. It’s best to exercise your problem-solving muscles in a game, where the stakes are low, so they’ll be strong and ready when real-life problems arise.