In recent months we’ve talked about Inner Strength Vibe , our mobile app for teens. We’ve mentioned how it appeals to users, referencing gamification as a motivating factor. Let’s delve into the concept of games, learning and fun.
Games are really valuable in a lot of ways, but especially in the current COVID-trauma landscape. They can foster creativity, support critical thinking, and engender important life skills.
Let’s think about it. When we’re playing a game, what kinds of elements are we using and experiencing?
Let’s take a look at an oldie but goodie – Monopoly.
Groups & Positive Social Interaction
First, you can’t really play Monopoly by yourself – you need a group of people. And in order for the game to really work, players have to interact socially and navigate friendly competition. Social interaction is a really important life skill and is especially critical for teens.
Perseverance, Planning & Critical Thinking
Second, it teaches perseverance, patience, future planning, and critical thinking. Once again, all three of these are very important. (All is not lost if you don’t get to buy the Boardwalk. Should the right opportunities arise, you can strategically purchase other properties and still increase your winnings.)
And on a related note, it also teaches elements of financial literacy, which is most certainly a critical life skill. On a base level, Monopoly teaches players about money and investing, but it also stresses the concept of passive income. I honestly didn’t put two and two together until I was writing this post because, to me, it was all about fun, collecting properties, and bankrupting the other players.
Looking back, I actually learned a lot of key concepts and skills playing board games that I’ve been able to apply my entire life. I was having fun, but I was also learning a lot as well.
How is this related to Mindfulness? These are skills that are also built into the practice of mindful awareness.
Check out The Conscious Classroom podcast to learn more: “Fun: It’s Good for Learning – Playing Mindful Games”.