The 12 Incredible Health Benefits of Board Games
Today’s generation is the generation of videogames.
We know perfectly well.
Yet, those who, like us, are a few years older, know well that the good old board games were able to give emotions in the company that we still associate with wonderful memories today.
If we try hard, each of us will find splendid ones (and even melancholy ones, we know that).
We at table- games.it, in a world made up of PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo and so on, are white flies.
LOVERS OF DICE, IN THE FRENETIC TIMES OF FORTNITE
Those who follow us know that we strive to find board games that are pleasant even for modern times, and suitable for generations with little patience today.
This year, however, we have created something new. (And, in our own small way, we are proud of it).
We have read and analyzed scientific publications from around the world and collected the 10 main health benefits that emerged and described and demonstrated in the scientific literature on the use of parlor games.
It is not an incentive to use table games, everyone is free to do what they want with their time.
It is a simple way of remembering that board games, which today seem “prehistoric” to some, actually have much more to say than we think.
1) Memory and cognitive abilities
Board games have a training effect on the brain: according to some studies, they help develop essential cognitive skills, such as probem solving and decision making skills.
It is above all the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex that are stimulated during a board game. These areas of the brain are responsible for the more complex reasoning, which allow you to create the “strategy” during the game.
At the same time, another important cognitive ability is stimulated: memory. In fact, just like a muscle training, the board game (as well as the riddles, puzzles and quizzes) strongly stimulates and trains the hippocampus, that is the part of the temporal lobe brain that deals with the storage of remember!
2) Stress reduction
It is one of the biggest differences between board game and video game. The board game is able to relax, and 53% of people according to a study by RealNetworks Inc say they can relieve stress with a single play of a board game.
Videogames (let’s be clear, not all) often create a competition between those who play and their opponents, which often results in even increased stress and moodiness.
3) Development of empathy
One of the most obvious, but no less important effects is having fun while playing. This effect causes the production of endorphins, chemicals that cause the feeling of happiness. Furthermore, the sharing of laughter and fun among the people who participate promotes empathy, feeling and trust with the other participants.
4) Social relations
Sitting with your family without interruptions may seem like an impossible thing nowadays. Each of us has different commitments and schedules which pushes them in opposite directions. However, playing with our children, or with friends, is a perfect way to spend time together and build learning skills at the same time. There are several studies that show how board games played with family or friends are enormously able to strengthen the social bond between the components of the game.
5) Impulsiveness control
Board games are able to practice not responding to non-target stimuli. For all those who have problems managing the impulsiveness of actions, a board game prompts you to reflect on your actions, forcing you to maintain self-control over the actions performed. (Dye, Green, & Bavelier, 2009)
6) Contrast to depression
In 2016, a study was done by the University of East Carolina to monitor actual changes in brain activity experienced by casual gamers. The results are astounding: after just 20 minutes of gameplay, players simultaneously showed greater heart rate variability (linked to reduced stress and increased resilience) and fewer left frontal alpha waves (linked to improved mood, which players confirmed in a written survey). Participants who spent their 20 minutes simply browsing the Internet saw no improvement in mood or heart rate.