Games are an integral part of people’s lives and have been since mankind began throwing stones. From childhood to old age games entertain and amaze us. But have you thought about the fact that they also prepare us for life and help us to hone certain necessary skills? So, how do they do that? Well, here’s a short list of some well-known games, from way back when as well as now, and how they teach and empower us: |
Early Children's' Games
• Hide & Seek honed hunting skills
• Cowboys & Indians taught the rules of strategy and fair play
• Hopscotch built muscles and dexterity
• Jacks taught thinking and manual dexterity
• Team sports taught teamwork, strategy, and physical prowess
Back in the good old days (like hundreds of years ago), games were very physical, which was a necessity for children of that period to prepare for adult life. At that time, life was much more physically demanding than it is these days. Kids played non-physical games also, like cards and board games to learn thinking skills.
… & Now
Fast forward to modern-day. Now, many of those games have been replaced by video games for teaching not only hand-eye coordination but also computer use, strategy, and teamwork. Yes, the main focus in gaming these days is on computer games like those played on PlayStation and Xbox or even on smartphones, tablets, and computers. In this day and age, kids need to be preparing for the world of adulthood and its high-tech demands. Is there a game of any kind that has spanned the years and is still popular today? Yes, there is and it's been around for a very long time, too.
Perhaps the most challenging and relevant game of all time has been around for 1500 years. What is it? Well, it’s chess and it teaches players, young and old, about a number of important things, including:
• Patience – Waiting for your opponent to move is the obvious example, but you also learn to be patient with yourself as you learn the game and think about your moves for extended periods.
• Concentration – Keeping your mind on the game and planning your moves, even when it is not your turn takes mental discipline and concentration. Keeping a mental picture of possibilities as the layout of the board changes also teaches this skill.
• Strategic Thinking – Taking into account the different abilities of the pieces, and their areas of influence. Most importantly though, considering how the different pieces relate to each other.
• Recognizing Consequences – Every move you make changes the parameters of the board, the strategy, and the life of the game. And every move you make will be met with another move by your opponent. These are the consequences.
• Imagination – Each move must be pictured in your mind before the move is made. Further, you then have to picture what your opponent can do in response, then what you can do to counter that. A great deal of imagination is used in chess.
And now the game of Chess has been brought into our modern world with computers so it can be played online making the life skills it teaches even more accessible. Chess has been around for 1500 years and has adapted to this modern culture so well because the life skills it teachers are just as useful today as they were for people who lived and played the game 1500 years ago.
Not Just for Fun
It’s something to think about the games that we enjoy so much when we are ‘at play’ are simply tools to train us for the more serious aspects of life, but there it is. It has always been that you are not ‘just having fun’ or ‘wasting time’ when you play games. Sure, you're having a good time, but you're also learning plenty of life skills to boot. And, if you have kids, be sure to encourage them every day to play both the new and the old games so that they can learn the life lessons that they need to grow and prosper.
Delores Keeper has been playing chess for over 50 years. Some tournaments, some teams (when she was younger), but mostly just for the enjoyment of the game. Her love for the game has led to creating her own website selling chess sets. Delores has searched the world over for different chess sets of all types and styles and you will be amazed at the variety available. To see this amazing selection of chess sets and the various uses they can be put to, visit https://ChessSetsPro.
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