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The Importance of Playing Games

Nov 9, 2007
You are probably familiar with the exceptional benefits of playing a game. Regardless of one's age and physical ability, games such as golf , billiards, board games, etc. are considered to be those types of recreational activities that people select to try in order to increase their mental and/or physical skills while enjoying the excitement. But since games are played primarily for the mere enjoyment they offer, some people tend to consider them unnecessary and a waste of time. Nothing could further away from the truth. Games increase a person's capabilities and assist in developing a better understanding of ourselves. Games should be fun for one to want to continue practicing them, but they can also have an educational nature. Most importantly, games can affect a person's psychological state leading to excitement and the feeling of one being proud for an accomplishment. Games are not a waste of free time. Actually free time is the time one should devote in exploring his or her abilities through games and have fun in educating and exercising his or her body and mind.

Generally, a game consists of a goal that its players try to reach and usually has a set of rules within which a person has to succeed accomplishing the desired objective. These commonly agreed boundaries exist so as to test peoples' skills and invite them to develop new ways in managing the obstacles that might hinder them from attaining the game's goal. But, due to the vast variety of known games all around the world, agreeing on a single definition has been rather challenging. People in different time periods, countries, and contexts, have tried to capture the essence of games and come up with a classification that could serve all games' purposes. Upon examining some etymological dictionaries, one can conclude that games are a creative expression of the human spirit through the creation of an activity that has an entertaining, instructive and competing element. Regardless if a game is played by a single individual or requires competing teams, involves physical as well as mental activity, has a concrete or loose set of rules and structure, needs some or all of the available resources, it always leads to an outcome. There is usually a winner and a looser and whether a participant belongs to the one or to the other side of this simple distinction makes all the difference in the world.

With the plethora of existing games for different target groups like kids, teenagers, adults or seniors, anthropologists have proposed their classification under three major clusters. One can decide to play a game of skill, which can be mental or physical. Checkers for example use their mental skills to successfully complete a game of chess, while runners use their body's capacity to overcome natural obstacles like that of wind and gravity, or their own bodies' ability to outrun itself. The second game category is that of strategy games, like the Monopoly board game that requires from participants to reach a particular outcome over a specific time frame based on their available resources. Third, there are games of chance that base their popularity on economic insecurity and are associated with cultures that place a high value on personal responsibility. Finally, people tend to play mixed games. These games, like soccer (football) and basketball, involve both physical skill and strategic thinking and in many cases their outcome is based on chance.

Now that you know how important is for you to play games, next time someone invites you to participate in another friendly baseball match do not try to avoid the invitation because you think it is a waste of time. Games, despite their character can help you clear your mind and can change your mood. Thus, tomorrow get up, pick your favorite game, find your opponents, make it your new hobby, and experience the tremendous effect a game's round can have in your life.
About the Author
Jonathon Hardcastle writes articles on many topics including Games, Travel , and Outdoors
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