The benefits of board games

Ryan Percy
By Ryan Percy April 20, 2018 14:29

Brett Palmer and his children Nicolas, 3, and Gabriella, 5, enjoy some screenless entertainment at Tecumseh Game Night. (Photo by Ryan Percy)

By Ryan Percy

People in Windsor-Essex are being offered a chance to take part in a somewhat forgotten activity — board games.

Whether they are played with dice, cards, spinners or any other system, board games share a history of fun and play. The oldest board game found in complete form dates back further than 2500 B.C.E and was found in what is now Iraq. Depictions of even older games have been found in Egyptian tombs. Board games have been a part of human culture for a long time and groups in Windsor-Essex see their use today.

The LGBTIQ2S community in Canada has become more visible in the past decade and groups like Windsor-Essex PrideFest are trying to give the community a place to be themselves. Gaymes Night is an event put on between WE PrideFest and St. Clair SRC at the St. Clair Student Life Centre. David Lenz is president of WE PrideFest and said Gaymes Night was chosen to give LGBTIQ2S and allies a safe and fun environment.

Dices are used to settle disputes on the battlefield at Brimstone Games (Photo by Ryan Percy)

“Sitting down, doing something fun and connecting with people in a personal, unplugged way is a great way to engage, connect and make new friends,” Lenz said.

Board games have been shown to be a great way to get to know someone’s personality, according to Psychology Today Magazine. Lenz points to them helping players think tactically, negotiate and putting aside the real world for a short time, especially electronic devices.

This is one of the main reasons why Kerri Rice, 46-year-old manager of Recreation Programs & Events with the Town of Tecumseh, said Family Game Nights are now being offered. The Family Game Nights are part of the “Power OFF and Play!” program developed by Tecumseh Parks & Rec and Windsor-Essex Healthy Kids Community Challenge. Board games can help children lengthen their attention span, encourage teamwork and improve critical thinking.  Rice said the goal is getting parents and youth to play physical games instead of screen-based entertainment.

“For children under the age of two, it is recommended that there should be no screen time,” said Rice. “Children between two and four should have less than one hour a day and children between the ages of five and 17 should have no more than two hours of recreational screen time a day.”

One of the most experienced people in Windsor-Essex when it comes to board games is Moe Tousignant, gaming ambassador for 16 years with Windsor Gaming Resource. Tousignant has grown up with games his entire life and said in addition to gaming for fun, it has both personal benefits and can benefit the needy.

Each year, the WGR’s members run gaming events to support Extra Life and have raised US $10,000 for the Children’s Miracle Network to date. Tousignant said one of the best benefits of board games is the welcoming community and is what he wants WGR to represent.

“Come out and learn what the fuss is about,” said Tousignant. “Play some games, no experience necessary. You don’t even need to bring any games, we’ve got plenty and we love to share our favourites. Looking forward to seeing you at the table.”

Ryan Percy
By Ryan Percy April 20, 2018 14:29

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