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Using Games as an Opportunity for Learning and Growth

Published 22 July, 2021

Video games and board games can be a great way to relax and unwind, but they can be more than that. For students and professionals, approaching gaming in the right way can turn games into an opportunity to develop important skills and growth on a personal and professional level. It all comes down to different personal attributes that can be developed through games, as long as said games are played to improve.

1. Gain more information

There’s a reason why trivia games are so popular. Learning and memorizing interesting facts can be a lot of fun, and trivia games offer both an opportunity for players to showcase their current level of knowledge, and for players to expand how much they know about the world. And while most trivia have little application, if you pick up enough trivia facts, some of them will eventually be useful. Be it inspiring when making a business decision, offering a useful anecdote that can be used to improve a college essay, or even working as a conversation starter during networking events.

And trivia is just one example of how games can be used to learn new knowledge. There are plenty of very detailed puzzle and simulation games that can be used to learn about a wide range of topics, from car repair to running a business, and even running a city. Games such as these make for great trivia gifts. There are also thematic trivia games like Boom Again, a game focused on the culture of the baby boomers, which can help players learn more about the history and trivia facts related to the 50s, 60s, and 70s.

2. Success and failure

There are board games and online games designed specifically to frustrate the player and force them to lose again and again until they figure out a trick to winning that given game. This is useful because different people react differently to failure. And whether your reaction is to get frustrated, angry, or become discouraged, experiencing these emotions in the safe context of a game gives you a chance to learn more about yourself. A chance to gain knowledge that will help you manage these emotions when encountering them in the real world.

Games are also helpful in helping players deal with positive emotions. Some people become arrogant or careless when they find themselves pulling ahead in a game, which is something that also happens in our real professional lives. And just like in the real world, if you can’t manage your excitement when you start winning in a game, you might find yourself the loser by the end of the play session.

3. Leadership

Games are one of the safest ways to pick up leadership skills. Whether you are playing online or around a table with friends, team-focused games encourage players to take charge to help their teammates succeed. This can give players a first-hand look into the challenges of getting teammates to collaborate and pull in the same direction, as well as the challenges of strategizing in a group and trying to operate efficiently even when there are disagreements between members of a team.

Online games offer even more room to grow in this area. In some games, it is common for experienced and respected players to lead teams of hundreds into battles or different adventures, which often involves dealing with a large number of realistic challenges when it comes to logistics, communication, and cooperation.