Exposed: Play and Learn

The more we play games, the more we learn. We learn better strategies, new mechanisms, be a better loser, and a better winner. We understand that we don’t always have to have the latest games that we definitely do, and we learn a few other things besides. In this article, let’s focus on something else. We can look at what playing board games have taught us, knowing more about ourselves, about the people around us, and how it has changed us over time, if at all.

Board games had always been a big part of growing. With our mum, brother and relatives would often play roll-and-move games after school. As we grew a little older, we would play various trick-taking games and board games.

5 Reasons that Enable Us to Learn just to Play

1. Strategies come from Learning

So from an early age, we learn to deal with losing and being a gracious winner, playing in teams and reading other players’ body language – and above all else, we learned to enjoy playing games.
Then, when we rediscovered board games in our adult life, they taught us new lessons. Playing games with family or friends or school mates, whom you’ve known for years and whom you’ve spent much time with. It is quite different from playing games with friends who have only recently become part of your social circle, just as it is different from playing games with friends of friends or acquaintances.

2. Expanding Social Circle

Playing board games can bring people together and allow you to make new friends, as many of us have experienced ourselves. When you play board games with others, you start to learn new things about them.
It also allows them to feel comfortable and open up about themselves, sharing more private thoughts and experiences. It could be through their actions within the magic circle of the game itself – or it could be their behavior outside the game as well.

3. Connectivity

Any shared hobby can create this feeling of connectedness between people, making them feel like they can trust each other, allowing them to be more open. It will take a few meetings, but it’s prevalent that people who play board games with each other start to talk about things that they wouldn’t talk about with work colleagues or other people. It is also possible that certain games will prompt specific conversations that people may not have had with their other friends, were it not for the game.
We might have seen all of this happen, and now we would say that we have learned a lot about board game friends over time as we share what we’ve been up to, what we’re thinking about, and other experiences as we play board games together.

4. Portraying

Board games also create a magic circle, where we take on a character, which is different from ourselves, but through whom we express ourselves, who lives in a world governed by rules set by the game and to which we all subscribe. It creates a safe space, but it also allows people to take actions they otherwise wouldn’t. Even in the driest worker placement game, players often feel that they can take steps that attack a specific opponent without being a personal attack on the other player.

Of course, that can sometimes be quite revealing. We are not saying that someone playing a berserker in a game is a crazy killer in real life. Still, someone decided to block the only worker space that you desperately need when they don’t gain anything from it or possibly even put themselves at a disadvantage, just to mess with you, might give you a clue as to what they’re like in real life. The same is true for someone being kind and swapping the brick for the wood so that you can finally build a city, of course.

We have seen the latter in our friends, showing that they want everyone to have fun, but they still want to win themselves. So blocking someone to stop them from winning is okay in our games group. We’re just playing competitively like that, and someone rarely oversteps the line into backside territory.

Sometimes a board game also triggers a specific conversation. Those who play board games are set in an alternate reality and often too abstract to draw parallels to our day-to-day lives quickly. However, there is one game in our collection that we want to play with the games group, leading to further discussion.

5. Playing Behavior

Board games have also shown that people can behave differently with different people, at least when playing games. For example, when playing with your wife, you are usually much less competitive and often focus on your own game and try and play the best you can. However, when playing with the games group, there is more competition and do everything to win – within reason.

Final Thoughts

The last thing that we can learn about board games is the excellent quality and the happiness to pay a little extra for it. In board game terms, this means metal coins or maybe a nice wooden insert that makes setup and breakdown easier. It’s not cheap, but it makes playing board games even more enjoyable.

So, what about yourself? What have you learned about yourself or others through the medium of board games? Please share your experiences in the comments below. We’d love to hear what board games have taught you.

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