Board games have been greatly enjoyed since time immemorial. They come in various types. Some have been around for thousands of years, while others have been developed more recently. Board games are popular among people of all age groups and walk of life, as well as people of vastly varying interests, tastes and preferences.
Though board games usually tend to be popular among the younger members of society, a large number of people in their advanced years also play these games as they are fun and provide a means to enjoy their free time and even socialise with family members, friends, colleagues and acquaintances. It is not uncommon to see people play chess games or Ludo or Scrabble, regardless of their age, profession or background, and this goes to show that board games are well-liked by a broad spectrum of people around the world.
A List of Board Games That Have Proven Health Benefits
Board games come in varying levels of challenge and difficulty; some require a great deal of strategic thinking, such as chess, while others require a thorough knowledge of the English language and a vast vocabulary, such as Scrabble. Other board games involve a mix of skill and chance, such as Ludo or Snakes and Ladders. Whatever one’s taste or preference, there is at least one board game to match, and board games have been shown to benefit one’s health.
Here are some of the board games that are well-known for the benefits they provide:
A list of board games can only be complete with the mention of chess. Chess is regarded as the ultimate game of strategy, and despite being one of the oldest invented board games, its relevance in strategic thinking has only increased with time. Chess is a game that has been hailed for its positive effects on the brain. It exercises both hemispheres of the brain, requiring logic and reason and creative and innovative thinking to outsmart one’s opponent, helping to increase a person’s overall intelligence quotient. Chess helps to improve concentration and focus.
Since its launch in the early 1930s, Scrabble has become a household favourite for millions worldwide. As is well known, playing Scrabble involves building words using tiles that bear an alphabet each and placing the tiles in such a way that helps maximise the total word score. Scrabble is very helpful in increasing one’s vocabulary as well as improving one’s spelling. The game is also known for enhancing one’s ability to think strategically. Scrabble also improves social skills as it stimulates conversations between players.
Monopoly is a board game that is centred around the buying and selling of real estate. A game that can be played by a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 8 players, playing Monopoly entails the buying and selling, as well as the developing of property across the board, and whoever has the highest amount of money at the end of the game is the winner. Monopoly is a game that fairly accurately represents the decisions one has to take to succeed in life and is also helpful in teaching the importance of investing wisely. It also helps to improve memory and cognition skills.
Mastermind is a code-breaking game that two players play. The game has a decoding board and code pegs. Of the two players, one is the code maker, and the other is the code breaker. The code maker creates the secret code, and the code breaker needs to decipher the code in as few turns as possible. Mastermind is based on a much older game played using pencil and paper called Bulls and Cows. Mastermind helps stimulate a person’s ability to use logic and reason, enhancing their deduction and problem-solving skills. Mastermind is so versatile it has been adapted to be applied in fields as diverse as computer science, mathematics and even psychology.
5. Snakes and Ladders
Snakes and Ladders, which also has a variant called Chutes and Ladders, is one of the most popular board games for children. However simple as it may seem, the game does contain plenty of profound lessons. While the ladders represent opportunities to rise, the snakes (or the chutes) represent setbacks and challenges. Another important lesson the game teaches is that even if a player suffers a setback and slides down to the starting point of the game, new opportunities always await. There is always the possibility of landing on the most extended ladder in the game, which can take the player up again. With all these lessons, Snakes and Ladders is a game that helps to shape a healthy perspective.
Listed below are some of the benefits of playing board games:
- Board games help uplift one’s mood as they are primarily played for recreation and enjoyment. Playing board games has been shown to stimulate the release of endorphins, a “feel good” chemical, and contributes to happiness and contentment.
- Board games help to improve a person’s memory. Research has shown that in addition to enhancing memory power, playing board games regularly helps to improve and maintain cerebral agility, which in simpler terms, may be referred to as the ability to think and make decisions quickly.
- Playing board games is very helpful in reducing stress. After a long, tiring and hectic day at work, playing a board game with family members or friends does go a long way in helping a person destress and relax.
- It may sound surprising, but playing board games also helps to boost one’s immune system. The very activity of playing board games stimulates the release of hormones and other neurotransmitters that help a person not only avoid tension, anxiety and depression but also provide a boost to body functions as well as enhance immunity.
Given the above, one should play more board games to enjoy a healthier, happier, more content life. There are numerous board games to choose from, regardless of a person’s interests, and board games are also beneficial in uniting people and creating an environment to have fun together.