If you’re an adult, and you interact with youth, why would you want to take time to play board games together? In episode 32 of The Game Schooler Podcast, Doug and Michael outlined seven benefits for gameschooling with youth. Here’s the list:
- Develop skills. Young gamers learn letters, colors, and orders of operation; while older gamers encounter return on investment, collaboration, and think through multiple outcomes based on actions. Being present to see youth develop skills is the core benefit of game schooling for most adults.
- The opportunity to focus on strengths or areas of improvement. Dr. McCabe stated, “Playing games with family members, you can see their strengths and skills in a different way…you really do see a different side of people that would only be seen in the work environment”. As the game group forms, the strengths of each gamer begin to emerge in various ways. One student may be better at teaching games, while another gamer may better explain the in-game strategy. A specific skill such as reading comprehension can also be assessed and improved through playing modern tabletop board games.
- Serendipitous joy of watching your child do something smart. Doug mentioned the joy of seeing his children make the right decision in-game. He stated that as children grow, the number of “firsts” dwindle. Although there aren’t any additional “first steps” there is a joy to seeing children make the right play.
- Watching kids teach games to other kids. For the teachers reading this, you understand the joy of seeing kids teach other kids. One of the benefits of gameschooling with youth is seeing students emerge as teachers. Doug stated, “you don’t get to see your kid in a leadership role often, even if it’s among siblings.”
- Observing your children become better sports. Students who consistently play board games learn to handle victory and defeat with grace. It’s rewarding to see youth increase their perseverance from game-to-game as the emphasis changes from victory to the joy of playing the game.
- Enthusiasm and fresh eyes. Doug noted the general excitement of seeing kids accomplish a mundane task. There’s a joy and excitement to playing games with kids – enjoy it!
- There’s a board game tied to your kid’s passion. Regardless of the student interest, there’s a board game for it. With thousands of games published each year, you can find a game to match the interest of every kid, teenager, or young adult.
As societies develop, one constant remains true: we are committed to our youth. Today, modern tabletop board games provide opportunities for adults to interact with youth in a positive and mutually beneficial format.
School of Gaming Segment begins at 30 minutes and 44 seconds: