Why do some people take board games so seriously?

Board game groups are fragile things. There are lots of things that can cause a game group to fall apart: problems with the venue, people moving away, personality conflicts, romantic breakups, and so on.

Don’t get me wrong: I think it’s great. Board games, in my opinion, are a lot of fun for everyone, especially kids. They divert children’s attention away from devices. Parents are always looking for ways to keep their children occupied when they are not at home. Without staring at a video game, board games satisfy our urge to play. Parents can witness their children play: It’s easy for parents to get caught up in the tasks at hand and forget to have fun with their children. It is critical for children to watch their parents participate in sports. For both adults and children, playing should be a natural part of life.

Children benefit from games that help them learn from their mistakes. Board games provide us a place to fail over and over again. It doesn’t matter if we lose because the stakes are so low. Children learn from failure as they become more familiar with it. A player might examine what led to their demise and why another person was victorious. Children begin to understand the consequences of their own choices, yet in a safe atmosphere.

It serves as an example of appropriate behavior. Great sportsmanship is demonstrated by parents who are humble in success and joyous in defeat. Rejoicing in good fortune or complimenting another player’s clever choices on a regular basis normalizes positive attitudes.

It helps children acquire social skills such as taking turns, being patient, working as part of a group, negotiating, compromising, communicating ideas, taking chances, following rules and directives, and managing limits.

Adults, on the other hand, may find themselves in a unique circumstance. Why are some of us so invested in these games? Why do they have the ability to turn us from pleasant grownups into obnoxious brats? And why do we have such a hard time remembering that it’s only a game?

When you blend casual and very serious players, you get a competitive imbalance. Casual players enjoy the social aspect of the game. A casual player will joke around with the other players, engage in some light roleplaying to immerse himself in the game’s theme, and overall tolerate making a potentially bad decision if it means not having to wait long for his turn. A professional player will carefully consider her alternatives, focusing solely on the game mechanics that are important to her best performance, and only completing a move when she is certain it is the greatest one she can make.

And, well, that’s the thing: once we’re involved, our brains don’t realize it’s just a game. Modern neuroscience has discovered that simply imagining a circumstance activates the same brain regions as actually experiencing it. It also works in the opposite direction. Our brains release happy neurotransmitters when we achieve a triumph or feel a sense of kinship with our colleagues.

The ability of board games to change family relationships is one of its most intriguing sociological characteristics. If your older brother is usually getting his way, dominating in a board game may be especially fulfilling, while losing to you may be very humiliating.

And, well, that’s the thing: once we’re involved, our brains don’t realize it’s just a game. Modern neuroscience has discovered that simply imagining a circumstance activates the same brain regions as actually experiencing it. It also works in the opposite direction. Our brains release happy neurotransmitters when we achieve a triumph or feel a sense of kinship with our colleagues.

This automatically activates our brain’s competitive switch. We begin to produce adrenaline and cortisol, and we prepare to fight. Furthermore, while most board games need some level of strategy, winning almost always depends on something we can’t control: luck. Knowing that someone else won because of luck when we feel we played better can certainly get our competitive juices flowing.

If any of the above occurs to you, take a deep breath and relax. Also, remember that it is only a game if you become more engrossed in it than you imagined.

Check out my related post: How can mobile games help to improve your health?


Interesting reads:

https://www.familyzone.com/anz/families/blog/taking-play-seriously

https://www.nickbentley.games/an-observation-about-why-some-people-dont-like-board-games-and-how-to-cure-them-of-that-terrible-affliction/

https://gil.hova.net/2014/03/23/competitive-imbalance-the-invisible-board-game-group-killer/

https://www.funnyordie.com/2018/1/18/17755098/if-you-ve-been-told-you-take-board-games-too-seriously-this-guided-meditation-is-for-you

https://www.resetera.com/threads/people-who-dont-take-board-games-seriously-are-the-worst.264606/

https://www.nbcnews.com/better/pop-culture/why-board-games-bring-out-worst-us-ncna828726

https://www.irishnews.com/lifestyle/2019/10/29/news/why-playing-board-games-is-so-good-for-kids-and-how-to-get-them-to-join-in-1748563/

https://www.parentingscience.com/board-games-for-kids.html

https://www.buzzfeed.com/hasbrogamenight/people-who-take-board-games-too-seriously

https://theshirleyjourney.com/benefits-playing-board-games-little-kids/

https://bigthink.com/personal-growth/kohlberg-moral-development-children-heinz

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