Gamification of concepts makes learning interesting as well as easier. When you are a beginner of learning in any field, you do have that initial scare of dealing with something new to you. With the help of games designed on a concept, the learners achieve the comfort level.
They find the relevance of the concept in daily life and also can relate better with the practical approach that games offer. Many education researchers, that is why, have understood and advocated the use of games, such as board games, as a teaching tool. Let’s explore why the board games have emerged as effective teaching support, and also if there is a requirement of drawing a line.
Advantages of Board Games
Board games find their utility almost in every sphere and phase of life these days. These have become a part of the homeschooling schedule due to the ease of learning offered. Secondly, board games are a hit among adults too. Those people past their learning days find board games a happening tool for revisiting the concepts learned long back.
Also, in workplace settings, board games have become a training material where these are used to train the employees and engage them in team-building activities and for enhancing their strategic planning skills. The best advantages of board games according to the way these are used by the people are:
- At home, a family playing board games together get to bond with each other well. The parents can spend quality time with their kids and make fun hour more interesting. Board games help in improving bonding among family members.
- In a classroom environment, board games can be used to teach the students the art of teamwork, logic reasoning, and strategic solving of problems. Students become concept fluent by learning their application part using board games.
- Board games, at parties, act as a point of engagement. The party people can enjoy with each other and create fun moments by challenging each other over a game, and also, take home the fun-filled memories of their get-together.
- In a home-tuition or homeschooling, the children are engaged in learning activities when they feel a bit aversive about reading books to develop their skills. There are several board games for learning counting, spelling, number recognition, and others that allow small children to build basic numeric and language skills.
The scope of board games has widened since its inception in the late part of the 19th century. At present, the board games industry or tabletop games is reporting a 40% growth, year on year basis since 2017.
Best uses of board games
While keeping these facts in mind, let’s take a quick look at the most popular uses of board games, which are:
- A strategy-building tool
- A party entertainment enabler
- A tool for imparting easy learning of concepts
- A refresher of concepts and to offer a pretext for relaxation to working people during their break time
- Learning support for gaining expertise in problem-solving
- Practice material for gaining fluency in basic reading, writing, math, and other skills
- Gamification of concepts belonging to all streams like chemistry, biology, history, engineering, and others.
So, can these replace the books or training manuals?
Actually, no! Board games can work as a supplement when used in an environment where sharing or exchange of knowledge is the core activity, like in classrooms, etc. These can offer extra support for gaining knowledge when books are too overwhelming for the learners.
But, not all concepts can be gamified. Some of these are to be learned through memorization or by sight. Actually, board games are simply providing a platform for applying what you have learned from various sources of knowledge like books, online tutorials, tuition classes, and others.
Where to draw the line while playing board games?
By discussing this point, we are actually pointing at some of the theories that may go against the use of board games. So, learn about these to ensure that you rule the board game and not let it happen the other way round.
Disadvantages of board games
Some of the disadvantages of board games that you must know about or must have experienced while playing these are:
- Board games can become addictive and distracting: Long after the game is over, you may find yourself thinking about what you could do better or to win if lost the game. Also, you may feel drawn to play these again and again just to improve the scores.
- Board games are too time-consuming: Many gameplays are very long and may extend for hours. If you do not play with cognition, you can feel absorbed in these the whole day without even realizing the time spent.
- Board games can be stressful sometimes: Especially when you are too touchy about losing, you may find stress building up in mind while playing board games.
- Can build an undue sense of competition when feeling is not controlled: The board games become fun only when you play these with a constructive frame of mind. Bringing egos in gameplay and using board games as a premise to prove supremacy can defeat the very idea behind playing these games. Such an attitude can also lead to fights that may cause discord in a meeting/party/class.
- Board games are relatively costlier a bit than other alternatives: Some board games are quite pricey and do not deliver the value as compared to the size of the value these carry.
- Sometimes, induce abnormal behavior: Will you ever feel happy when your friend ‘dies’ in any situation in real life? But, in a board game, you can find yourself celebrating the death of a friend who plays your opponent in the game. Also, seeing people losing and feeling good about it is not a sign of a healthy mindset. Thus, there is a need to control the gameplay or have people to guide you so that negative feelings do not build up in mind.
If we weigh the board games’ pros and cons, the pros definitely outweigh the cons. With the correct guidance, following rules of playing, and a better approach, the board games users can maximize the benefits of these games without allowing these to overpower their mindset.
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