There was once a time when we would head out to buy a board game before we were introduced to technology. Smartphones have introduced us to the world of online gaming, and today, it has grown into a multi-billion dollar business of approximately $180 billion. But are online games competent enough to replace board games? The audience stands divided; one sector says online gaming is convenient, while the other says physical board games are a lot more stimulating.
The coronavirus pandemic and its resulting lockdowns have surprisingly soared the sales of board games in America. Amazon reported a 4,000 percent increase in sales during March 2020, whereas Walmart reported a 100 percent increase in in-store sales. But as we know it, the video game industry has grown just over 20 percent in 2020.
Board games have been around for thousands of years and date back to ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. Around that time, games were either interconnected with race or war. But as the world transforms, our dilemma is whether online board games are just as great as conventional board games, considering how influential gaming can get.
The Benefits Of Board Games
Board games tend to require problem-solving skills and strategies, which is why they are highly immersive. Moreover, they assist in practicing cognitive skills for all ages, as the play involves decision-making, problem-solving, and strategic thinking. They help enhance short and long-term memory as they allow the brain to process information quicker. These games enable nurturing within relationships when played with friends or family. Additionally, it teaches teamwork as players tend to collaborate over the next move.
The Benefits Of Online Gaming
1. Easier To Access
There are innumerable games available on the Play Store or App Store, most of them free (fortunately), while some that reputable brands have developed charge the bare minimum for their outstanding graphic quality. All you require is your phone or gaming console, and you can play whenever you have a minute to spare. Best of all, they’re equally challenging for amateurs as they are for professional players, so no matter where you stand, you’ll get a game to match your level of gaming.
2. Availability of Games
If you get bored of one game, you can quickly move onto the next. But what do you do if you get bored with a board game? You stack it on the last compartment of your memory shelf. Lastly, even when most board games can be bought under $20, you can only buy so many before you start to think it’s not worth the price you’re paying. Additionally, in a world where we are required to stay physically distant, don’t you think it’s better to have the opportunity to play without the need for contact?
3. Opponent Status
Moreover, you’re never deprived of an opponent when playing online; the developers have given online players the freedom to compete with players around the world, allowing them to sharpen their gaming skills over time.
Put the Two Together, Minus a Few
Contrary to popular belief, our verdict is that online gaming via video games and gaming applications has bought board games their undue fame. Many more people are readily accepting of the idea of playing board games online. Monopoly, Ludo, Scrabble, Clue, Cards Against Humanity, and Dominion are some of the most played online board games.
Here are some tips for playing safe:
1. Screen Time
Overexposure to screens has adverse health implications, but when kept under limits, playing games online has proven to benefit children with their academics, social skills, and mental and physical health. When done right, online gaming allows the transfer of soft skills (such as thinking outside the box, practicing honesty, and teamwork) that serves as a lesson for children.
2. Social Connectedness
The idea behind board games is encouraged due to their quality of connecting people. Working in a team, even for fun, lays solid grounds for cooperation and engagement. Online gaming applications allow online players to view and speak to other players in real-time. Remember, every positive interaction is a plus one on your bonding with the person.
3. Enhanced Cognitive Functions
Did you think they were only for children? Hell, no. Research has found that playing games during the later stages of life leads to improved cognitive functions in terms of cognitive abilities, problem-solving, decision-making, and memory. These skills also attribute to real-world situations, for example, when working under pressure. This is because board games allow for the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex to strengthen.
4. Stress Reduction
What we love most about games is the fact that they work like magic when you want to reduce stress or induce relaxation. So in uncertain times like these, when the coronavirus pandemic has confined us, you can make use of the sophisticated framework of playing board games to exercise and regulate any stress.
There’s no denying that technology has become an unavoidable element in our lives. And to be very honest, it isn’t all that bad so enjoy it while you can. Cheers!
Reid Champagne is a great American humorist author. He writes about long-distance relationships, the funniest travel stories, lifestyle (mostly life after 60), and eateries with a bit of a knack. He’s a witty columnist who writes about days of his life as a comedy author.