Board Games Can Help Children Learn Interactively and Break Barriers Press ReleaseMay 28, 2008
Contact: Patrick Matthews
Games for Education Website Debuts
Games for Educators, www.GamesForEducators.com, debuted last week as a result of a partnership between the Chicago Toy & Game Group and Live Oak Games to promote the use of games in schools, libraries and at home. The website anchors the Games in Education e-newsletter reaching over 260,000 educators and librarians. Many of today’s social activities are becoming more individually orientated, from computer games to watching television. Children can easily feel disengaged from those around them, and many dual income families struggle to spend quality time interacting. Board games provide a rich interactive platform to encourage interaction, discussion and enjoyment in a social sense. Many board games are designed to promote interaction between players in the form of trading, negotiation, discussion or co-operative play, this provides a scaffold around which meaningful family or social interaction can take place. Games, when played in the right spirit, can break down barriers between genders, ethnicities, religions, and social classes, as well as promote communication across these borders. Games not only encourage a student to look at specific skills, like for example: addition, subtraction, spelling or word association, but also at the bigger picture. When playing games players need to make judgments on a tactical level: turn by turn, what is going to benefit me?; but also on a strategic level, I won’t make the best move I could this turn because it puts me in a better position for later in the game. Strategic thinking is difficult to teach and encourage, and board games utilize it all the time. Educational and psychological theorists from Gardener to Steiner espouse the place of involvement, absorption and fun as being key components in learning. Games tick all these boxes, and studies show that when used well, can have a real positive impact on student learning and development. Bringing games into the classroom can help get kids looking forward to class, get them excited about learning. Sometimes, they even bring the games home to play with the family. They help break down barriers, and get students and teachers interacting on a whole new level. The Chicago Toy and Game Group, www.chitag.com, promotes play year round and operates The Chicago Toy and Game Fair – the only toy and game fair open to the public in the USA, the Toy and Game Inventor Event and Awards – the only event celebrating toy and game inventors, DiscoverGames.com – the largest co-op of board game inventors in the world and the Young Inventor Challenge. Live Oak Games, www.liveoakgames.com, publishes award winning games for the whole family. Their latest is StoryTellers, a game of storytelling for ages 10 and up.