Be honest now, how much time have you spent on the subway, on the bus, or even at work (never!) trying to solve that riddle, get all the right candy boxes in alignment, or beat that one level?
Never mind, we already know that answer to that – far too much, but for all of the time we spend solving puzzles and riddles on our phones, we can’t quite seem to get enough of it, and gaming is extending far beyond just the games we play on our cell phones.
Now, we’re not talking about the online games that are fast becoming a sport in their own right, (and could be making it to the Olympics), we’re talking about the good old-fashioned board games that are enjoying a resurgence in popularity amongst families and young people too.
So what is it about these games that keep us so fascinated and glued to our devices? We’re going to unpack a few thoughts in this post.
The most popular board games played on actual boards and not mobile devices, were sources of endless entertainment for families. Remember the days of Monopoly, Cluedo, Balderdash, and Snakes and Ladders? Later on, these games would evolve to include titles like Trivial Pursuit and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?
Anyone who grew up with a selection of these games in the closet will know that come evening time, rain pouring outside or when Jack Frost came calling, were some of the best times spent with family and friends. But why is that exactly? The answer may surprise you.
Playing board games with our families and friends is a great way for people to get together and enjoy a shared experience, that doesn’t require a huge amount of skill or physical prowess. While the intellectuals might think that they have an advantage, it’s more likely shrewd who do, and so these games are also a good equalizer of sorts between families.
For parents, it’s usually a wonderful excuse to spend time with their children, and so the game itself is rather secondary to the bonding time, that occurs as a result of the game.
Humans are also naturally wired to be competitive and to learn. We have an endless capacity to learn about new things and expand our horizons, so puzzle games, in particular, offer an excuse for the otherwise intellectual, academics around us to let a little loose, and just have fun while still doing something, somewhat intelligent.
Over the past year, we’ve seen a rise in board game popularity and game nights have become quite trendy again with titles including the whole family to those a little more risquè, and in the rough and tumble of the games, our brains are stimulated in multiple areas including our learning centers, our reward centers, and our bonding or social centers, all of these combine and together give us a solid endorphin and dopamine kick – the good kind.
Believe it or not, board games also help increase our morality stakes because we’re more often than not presented with opportunities to play less than honestly.
But if you really can’t seem to get one over your über-smart sibling, never mind – we’ve included a (small) cheat for you with these word cookies answers. You’re welcome.
Whatever your reasons are for loving a spin around the board, rest assured that you’re only doing your relationships a service, as well as your brain.