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What are board games?
They are parlor games mostly for 2 players or more, which are played on a board. The selection is relatively large and in the age of technology these are still indispensable in every household. Some games are designed for fun, others for tactics and excitement. The board game community is at least as large, if not larger, than that of online games. There are entire playgroups who have dedicated themselves to playing games on a board and have been doing so for decades.
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Board games – that's why they offer so many advantages
There is no need for an internet connection, a long drive in the car, no special effort and no additional costs, and yet it is timeless fun that can be experienced again and again. Everything you actually need is usually in a single box. Of course, we're talking about board games.
Everyone knows one or the other board game and has already sat in a small or large game. Even if it was perhaps just about hitting the highest possible number with the dice and moving your own pawns from start to finish. Apart from that, however, there is now an almost unmanageable variety of board games and the accessories sometimes go far beyond dice and small play figures.
The setting – a festival of fantasy
Exciting stories, strange worlds, past or future ages and so on – the background, i.e. the setting, of a board game is often a matter of the imagination. This is precisely one of the great advantages of such games. Because when does the opportunity arise to travel to the Middle Ages, to sail the oceans by ship or to watch a completely crazy horse race? This is exactly what the board games “In the protection of the castle”, “Village Port” or “Change Horses” from Eggertspiele make possible.
The togetherness – a main aspect of board games
How big and detailed the background story or the setting of a board game turns out is of course very different and a matter of personal preference. What remains, however, is the togetherness that board games offer. There are few better opportunities to gather the whole family around one table for hours and have a good time together. In times when people often just sit in front of the television in silence, this is a wonderful change.
Especially since many board games are not limited to one age group, but offer fun across generations. In the game “Spectaculum”, for example, the eight-year-old daughter as well as mom, dad and grandpa can all play for victory. Apart from the family, of course, this applies to all sorts of societies. Whether shared apartment, youth club or couple's evening – a board game is the ideal occasion to spend some nice hours together.
The learning effect in children
While board game players generally really include all age groups, children can be emphasized. Because especially adolescents, board games have several positive aspects. As mentioned, there is always a certain togetherness in which children are also integrated. Everyone is at eye level while playing. Mom and Dad are then not “the adults” for a while, but all are the same.
So the little ones can experience very clearly when the parents are annoyed because they are constantly unlucky while throwing the dice or something similar. These are important lessons that a child then learns through play. Of course, mom and dad themselves have the opportunity to show how to deal with defeat and failure correctly – and how to behave in the event of success. Of course, this is often easier said than done. The key word is social skills and it is precisely this that children acquire automatically when playing board games.
The didactic effect is much more than that. Because a main aspect of many games is strategic and forward-looking thinking. The game “Sherwood Forest” by Eggert games for example, takes place in a planning phase and a raid phase. So you have to be well tacted right at the beginning in order to be successful in the end, whereby the luck factor is of course not disregarded. In general, board games promote intelligence in many ways. Reading and reading aloud are part of numerous games and more or less simple arithmetic tasks are often essential.
In some board games, economic thinking is entirely at the core of the game. If you like something like this, you can have fun with “Macht $ piele”, for example. Ultimately, one only has to consider to what extent money and currency play, or should play, a role. In principle, there is another advantage that children learn a better and better feeling for the value of money by playing with play money and the playful simulation of buying and economic processes.
Always a meaningful occupation for seniors too
With regard to the requirements in terms of intelligence, strategic and cognitive skills, it should also be mentioned that board games are a meaningful occupation, especially for seniors. It has now been proven that learning new, completely unknown activities and thought processes trains the brain, so to speak, and last but not least prevents diseases such as dementia. The keyword here is brain jogging.
Since there are countless board games, it makes sense to try out one or the other new game, get to know the type of game and get better at it, even at an advanced age. Of course, it doesn't have to be highly complex business games. A game with understandable rules and interlocking processes, on the other hand, is exactly the right thing to do. With the right setting, the whole thing is even more fun and is also the perfect opportunity for grandma, grandpa, granddaughter and grandchildren to play together. “Glück Auf”, a game about miners and coal mining, is an ideal example of this.
Board games can be played anywhere but do not have to be played all the time
As mentioned at the beginning, you generally never need more to play than what is in the respective game box. A table can provide the basis, but it can also be played comfortably on the floor. This is a great advantage. In the living room, on the balcony, at a picnic or on vacation – as long as the game is in the closet or with you in your luggage, nothing stands in the way of fun.
Especially since hardly any board game is absolutely repetitive. Instead, there are always new game rounds, not least due to the factor of chance and the constellation of the other players. New tactics can be tried over and over again, new stories can be told over and over again, and new end results can be achieved over and over again. In the game “Neuland”, for example, a single move can take place in four different ways and something can be produced, something given, something built or something placed. As different as these possibilities are, the game rounds are correspondingly different.
Although board games offer this variety, this fun and always new excitement, they clearly stand out from the modern alternative, the video games, in one decisive aspect: there is no addiction factor. While it has been proven that playing on a flickering monitor or television has a relatively high potential for addiction, this is not the case with board games. Great joy, anger and maybe even anger – all these emotions can undoubtedly arise in board games, but an addiction does not develop from them. A well-known game developer once said: “If the game goes well, then I am happy and if the game goes bad, my normal life goes on anyway.”
The relaxation factor
The quotation mentioned, which also indicates that you sometimes win a board game and sometimes lose, points to the high relaxation factor that this pastime offers. If a round is ultimately lost, it can still be great fun and the win would have been just a bonus to the whole thing. The path is often the goal and this path is a pleasure the whole time, in which one forgets everyday life. Therefore, an hour or two with one or the other board game in good company is an almost ideal way to spend the evening after work.
Finally, meanwhile, you can also have a glass of wine and snack on a few sweets. Those things that you might otherwise do quietly and for yourself in front of the television or with a book, which of course is not bad either – but in the board game everything is experienced as togetherness and joy shared is just double joy.
Conclusion – that's why board games only have advantages
Board games can be very simple or highly complex. In any case, they are great fun. The special thing about board games is that the more players are involved, the greater the fun. Because togetherness is a crucial aspect and advantage of board games. Then there is the fantastic variety. The setting of such games can be in the Middle Ages as well as in the future and it can be about simple races via dice or strategic decisions are the focus.
The game “Time ‘n Space”, for example, deals with an interplanetary trade in goods à la science fiction and requires the players to be able to coordinate, communicate and be cautious under time pressure. Such skills are, to a certain extent and form, part of almost every board game. That is why learning in particular is an essential part of playing. This learning also benefits children who, through board games, also improve their social skills and deal with success and failure as if by themselves. The didactic component even plays a role for seniors, so that board games become a kind of brain jogging with fun.
That fun is of course always in the foreground, which is why a game always offers a high degree of relaxation. Despite such advantages and the opportunity for new, unexpected rounds of play, unsightly aspects such as a possible addiction are completely avoided. In this respect, board games are fundamentally different from video games. Ultimately, it can be stated that there is, in principle, only one real disadvantage: board games rarely work alone.