Why We Play Games
We all like to play games, we all need to play games whether they are board games, video games, outdoor sports or just messing about with our partner games we all have an innate desire to play.
Playing is an essential part of our evolution. The experience gained by infants when they play games during their formative years is invaluable and teaches them the skills needed for later in life.
To share, know strengths and weaknesses, learn fairness and modesty are all vital components of our make up. Many species of the animal kingdom share the same patterns. You only have to study lion cubs, puppies or monkeys to see how they develop and hone essential skills whilst playing
When infants play games they develop their mental and cognitive abilities. They learn how to make judgements, take risks and importantly learn how to be less egocentric.
The old sayings "play to win" and "winning is everything" which interpreted would suggest we only play games to win and there is little point in playing if we do not win.
This is an opinion I do not subscribe to and many schools today are also attempting to change the perception on how we play games.
Some schools have now decided to abandon the parent's race as it has simply become too competitive. Parents have become aggressive in their attempts to win when originally this race was designed to embarrass the parents and provide some lighthearted fun to the day. As a consequence injuries have occurred but the real damage is how their children perceive the way their parents compete. It stands to reason this aggressive behaviour will filter down and into the childs mind.
Through competition winners and losers are determined and this could possibly damage a childs self esteem if they are never on the winning side. Therefore today a greater emphasis is placed upon team events and the ethos of "Its the taking part that counts"
This political correctness is all well and good but a healthy competitive element should be present when we play games, especially sports. Without a fine balance it could equally be argued our children will not learn the skills needed to strive, do their very best in life and basically look after themselves.
Be humble in your victories and magnanimous in defeat and you will always find someone to play with.
Win or lose the most important reason we should play games is for fun! Whether it's a simple game of cards or a football match we should really leave the competitive stuff to the professionals and just enjoy the game and remember to always shake hands after.
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