Picture the scene.
You’re in a coffee shop and you observe a mother and her two kids at the next table. The younger one is eager to play and he’s already put out his toys on the table. Slowly, he pushes the pile of action dolls and miniature cars towards his older brother, his eyes full of expectation. But the elder turns his plead off.
I’m too old to play, he says before going back to his smartphone.
Resigned the little one starts to play by himself.
While this might seem like a normal everyday scene, it asks an important question about playing. Do we ever get too old for games?
Entertainment without involvement
If you have to spend a lot of time by yourself, it’s likely that you’ve already come across online games. Online games have a great quality: They are entertaining and don’t demand a lot of involvement. You could play a flash game for a few hours without feeling the need to finish it. They are a little like catching an old episode of Miss Marple on TV. They help you to kill time, but you don’t need to sign up and become a regular to enjoy the moment. You can even find betting games that follow the same principles so that you can spend an afternoon escaping boredom and making a few quids if you’re lucky.
Use your brain to the fullest
Contrary to the common beliefs, games are not a passive hobby. They can keep your mind active and enhance your problem-solving skills. And some problem-solving games have become so popular, such as the escape room experience, that you can even find offline versions to play with friends. Playing games with a mystery issue forces you to think outside the box.
Escape from everyday depression
You need to stop thinking of gamers are socially awkward nerds who never go out. In fact, playing games helps you to develop a more resilient mindset and face everyday challenges positively. According to Brian Button-Smith, a psychologist, people experience strong self-confidence, increased physical energy and positive emotions while playing. He concludes that if you don’t play, your brain is more likely to experience the opposite phenomena, which then refer to depression. Consequently, neurologically, games stimulate the brain regions for reward pathways and learning new patterns – which lies in the hippocampus. With lack of playing the hippocampus and the reward pathways shrink gradually and you become clinically depressed.
Rediscover board relationships
Don’t be fooled into thinking that only video games are beneficial. In fact, playing board games brings a unique mixture of health and life improvements. First of all, your brain grows abilities with the stimulation. But you can also improve your relationship with other players and with yourself, as you connect over laughing and teamwork. Ultimately, this redefines what a lousy loser is. It’s not about winning, board games are about developing strategies, reducing stress and having a nice time together.
In conclusion, it’s time to stop snubbing games. From an extensive mood-enhancing tool, games also have a supportive presence in your social circle. They bring the best out of people within a reduced community. In other words, you’re never too old to play!
*This is a collaboration post