This is CEWT’s third post and second blog post in our Games Series. Our last blog post focused on the history of games. This week’s blog will focus on the ‘why’ of playing games. But first, I want to give our readers a bit of context on our ‘why’. Why is a continuing education and workforce training program writing about games? This answer is simple…and maybe a bit complicated.
The simple part is much easier to explain so let's start there. We are writing about games because of the people who work here, and because it does relate to our work but we’ll visit that later on in this article. For now, let’s focus on CEWT’s employees.
We have several employees who game in their free time. The variety of games they play is wide and inclusive. Our employees partake in everything from video games to board games but board games are the BIG favorite in this department. We have a few employees who get together after work to play various strategy-based board games with other members of the community. The members of their gaming crew come from walks of life as broad as the games they play; gamers in the group range from college students to CFOs. CEWT’s interest in games does not begin and end with the Board Game Brigade as one might assume.
Our director came to CEWT from another institution where game design was in the curriculum. It was a combination of our director’s experience and our employee board gaming group that lead us to think about how gaming is intergraded into various aspects of life, including industry, and thus our work. But now let’s get back to the reason for the article.
As mentioned before in our previous blog post, games have been around and played for over a millennium. We may never know when, exactly, games took root or their original purpose but we do have some ideas on the evolutionary benefits of gameplay. Benefits of gameplay include social, entertainment, and cognitive skills.
According to an article on Wired, studies on animals have shown strength and dexterity to be benefits of play. The article goes on to state the same benefits are provided to humans through gameplay1. Playing games has also been shown to enhance education in multiple ways. According to an article on BPSMedicine, board games can help encourage learning, improve knowledge, improve memory and cognitive abilities, and potentially play a role in delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s2.
Games are a part of our human culture. Games can create social and entertainment environments, help a particular species (including humans) develop dexterity and strength, assist teachers and parents in encouraging their students to learn, and help patients and medical professionals delay cognitive disease. We play games for all of these reasons and more.
CEWT may have some more game-related agenda items in store for the future…. stay tuned for updates. Until then, check our last blog post or to hear more from CEWT, about gaming, be sure to check out our recent podcast.
- Lean, Chelsea. Wired. (2021, Nov. 27). Playing Games Has Helped Humans Learn-and Survive. https://www.wired.com/story/games-play-evolution-social-connection/
- Shota Noda, Kentaro Shirotsuki & Mutsuhiro Nakao. (2019, Oct. 21). https://bpsmedicine.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13030-019-0164-1