Game Crossing #2: The Importance of Games

10 08 2010

The Purpose of Games

  1. Games help you actively learn thinking skills.  You cannot develop your thinking skills without being forced to think.
  2. Games contain the elements of our everyday activities in work, school and home: planning ahead, decision-making, setting priorities, dealing with people whose goals are incompatible with yours.

      3. The rules of a game give you a structure within which to work toward your goals, to resolve personal problems         and conflicts, and to develop your personality.

      4. Games help you learn to behave well in a social setting, to cooperate with others, to obey rules, and to propose new rules. You can’t always win in life, and games teach you how to lose gracefully.

       5. Games can be set up for play at different levels according to the players’ abilities.  In this way everyone can participate and enjoy playing.  You can begin a game at a level you are comfortable with, and gradually increase your skill and your self-confidence.

       6. Games provide a better opportunity for the educator or psychologist to observe a student’s intelligence in action than does the more artificial and anxiety-laden setting of an intelligence test.

      7. Games give you an opportunity to use your imagination, to fantasize, to try out new roles, to take risks and experiment with new behavior.

       8. Games enable learning to be enjoyable, challenging and stimulating; exploiting the most natural and effective process of learning through personal experience and experimentation.

       9.  Games enable participants to realize their strengths and weakness in a relatively safe environment.

       10. Games graphically illustrate when the effective transfer of theory into practice occurs and an effective review enables participants to understand the process for success to be repeated.

       11. Games enable participants to see and experience the gap between what they think they believe and what their behavior demonstrates they truly believe. Once this contradiction has been confronted, the way is open for real behavioral and attitude change to occur.

    12. Since participants often know more than they think they know, games help participants to discover the underlying principles that make them competent.  These experiences help them build confidence in their ability to correct their mistakes and improve their performance.


 What can be learned by playing games?

        Problem-solving-establishing an efficient step-by-step method that can be applied to all situations

        Critical Thinking- analytical, deductive and inductive reasoning

        Recognition and Evaluation of Choices and Options- comparisons of alternatives, relative values

        Evaluation of the Results of a Decision-recognition of consequences and avoiding futures errors

        Non-violent conflict resolution-working out disputes by discussion

        Impulse Resistant-impulsive or angry moves are always a mistake

        Decision making and having the courage to act decisively

        Goal Orientation-sometimes with multiple and simultaneous goals.

        Patience and Self-control-sitting still and quiet while others are thinking

        Personal Discipline-self-restraint and internal rather than external control

        Perseverance-even in the face of setbacks-determination to succeed

        Positive Social Values- friendship, honesty, fairness, justice, integrity

        Respect for others-both teammates and opponents

        Politeness, courtesy and manners-social conditioning to get along in society

        Civilized and socially-accepted behavior

        Coping with success (with magnanimity and grace) and failure (with fortitude and perseverance)

        Developing communication skills – communicating ideas with confidence in one’s abilities




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