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Role playing games like Dungeons & Dragons have an undeserved reputation for being somewhat … nerdy.  It’s entirely unfair especially considering the massive benefits that role playing games provide.  We wanted to share an article from LifeHacker showcasing the many benefits to be found in the world of RPGs.

Here are a few highlights:

When I first heard about role-playing games, I immediately thought it was something that was just for the nerdiest of nerds out there. I could only imagine how ridiculous it would feel to sit around a table with other people and act like someone—or something—else, pretending to fight goblins and dragons. The entire premise just sounded way “too geeky” for me—even as someone who was way into video games and other “nerdy” things.

Fast forward a couple years, and I found that I was completely wrong. As soon as I took a moment to strip away the facade of monsters and swords, role-playing games revealed themselves to be something far more interesting than other traditional games. Behind the fantasy adventures was a fun social gathering that required you to think on your toes, solve problems, be creative, and ultimately learn how to become a team player. Sound familiar? Yeah, that’s because it’s like every job out there. It turned out that it really wasn’t about the dungeons or the dragons at all—it’s about thinking critically and working like a team.

Playing Cultivates Creativity

Creativity is the bread and butter of role-playing games. They have a certain quality that allows you to transcend typical game interactions. You have real freedom and the ability to move the story forward how you see fit. There are rules for each game, but they are merely the skeleton to whatever story you and your team want to create.

Storytelling is one of the most powerful ways to activate our brains, and role-playing games do this incredibly well. When we tell stories—or experience them—our brains have to process language, the cause and effect of events, and also relate it to our own pre-existing experiences. While you’re playing a role-playing game, your brain is firing on all cylinders.

Playing Levels Up Your Social Skills

When you think Dungeons & Dragons, you probably don’t think social skills—but once again, that’s a stereotype that doesn’t necessarily hold true. Role-playing games are 100% social. You need to be able to talk to other people, express how you feel about certain situations, all in a group of people.


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Everybody plays games.  Whether you’re a backgammon bandit or a Monopoly master, there’s more than just fun afoot when you roll the dice.  Studies have shown that game play has a variety of learning benefits.   Teachthought.com offers the following advantages to gaming activities:

1. Increase a Child’s Memory Capacity

Games often revolve around the utilization of memorization.   Many popular games require children to remember certain aspects in order to solve the game, memorize critical sequences, or track narrative elements.

2. Help With Fast Strategic Thinking & Problem-Solving

Most games require children to think quickly. Moreover, they have to utilize their logic in order to think three steps ahead in order to solve problems and complete levels. This is great because it is something which helps children in later life as they develop their logic, their accuracy and their ability to think on their feet and outside of the box.

3. Develop Hand-Eye Coordination

Games that require children to use a gamepad or a keyboard and the mouse to operate the games can help develop hand-eye coordination. Not only does this get them more tuned to how a computer works, but it also helps to develop hand-eye coordination because children have to look at the action on the screen whilst using their hands to control what is happening at the same time.

4. Beneficial Specifically For Children With Attention Disorders

Research has revealed that online games can actually help children who experience attention disorders. This was concluded by a professor at Nottingham University (CNN covered it here), and is a notion which has been repeated by many in related studies.

5. Skill-Building (e.g. map reading)

A lot of games contain certain aspects which help children with specific skills. For example, a lot of mystery and adventure games contain maps which children will have to read. This obviously helps their map reading skills and practical thinking. Moreover, there are games, such as football management games, which introduce children to managing finances and general project management.

Looking for a great game?  We highly recommend visiting Harrison’s Comics and Pop Culture in Salem, MA.  Guard Up will be there this Friday (4/12) from 3-6 PM.  Come on in and see everything they have to offer as well as learning about our Zombie Summer Camp and Wizards & Warriors Camp located at Salem State University.


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It’s truly a remarkable thing. Think about it…history being presented on something other than the dusty pages of a textbook. Ancient Gods actually walking into the room. Famous battles taking place with you right smack in the middle. Scientific discoveries happening in real time (with real explosions sometimes too). Kids having the time of their lives while developing the skills they will need for the real world once Summer Camp comes to an end.

“In recent years camps have put a greater emphasis on what leaders in the child development field have been saying about the needs of children today. Camp activities and group living in a natural environment are the tools used to create camp communities that provide for successful, healthy development and a place where having fun is a daily criterion. In such a structured environment, children interact with positive role models who have time to listen, talk, relax, and reflect. They learn to work together, make choices, take responsibility, develop creative skills, build independence and self-reliance, and gain confidence. All are necessary steps on a child’s path to a healthy, productive life.”

The above quote is from an article published by the American Camp Association, outlining the real-life benefits of summer camps for today’s youth. Check out the full article right here…or their video below…

 

 

More Advice from the Experts

“The building blocks of self-esteem are belonging, learning, and contributing. Camps offer unique opportunities for children to succeed in these three vital areas and even beyond home and school.” – Michael Popkin, Ph.D., family therapist and founder of Active Parenting

“Camp is one of the few institutions where young people can experience and satisfy their need for physical activity, creative expression and true participation in a community environment. Most schools don’t satisfy all these needs.” – Peter Scales, Ph.D., Search Institute in Minneapolis

“What makes camp a special community is its focus on celebrating effort. In this less pressured atmosphere, children learn more readily what positive things to say and do when they make mistakes and face challenges. Brandwein also said, “The traditions and customs of each different camp are like a secret code that allows those who know it to feel embraced by something unique and special…Campers are urged to include, not exclude, others. They are praised for choosing new partners and not always the same ones. They are encouraged to respect the differences between people. In an increasingly sarcastic, put-down-oriented world, camps aim to be an oasis of personal safety where demeaning comments and disrespectful behavior are not tolerated, and children are taught responsible and positive ways to resolve conflicts.” – Michael Brandwein, noted speaker and consultant to the camp profession

 

Register for Quest Day Camp Today!

Can’t set aside the full time for Summer Camp? Guard Up’s got you covered. Your hero is invited to our Quest Camp day option, taking place at Salem State University. Questions? Give us a call at 781-270-4800 and we’ll be happy to help, that is what heroes do after all…



 


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