Board games have long fascinated as mirrors of intelligence, skill, cunning, and wisdom. While board games have been the topic of many scientific studies, and have been studied for more than a century by psychologists, there was until now no single volume summarizing psychological research into board games. This book, which is the first systematic study of psychology and board games, covers topics such as perception, memory, problem solving and decision making, development, intelligence, emotions, motivation, education, and neuroscience. It also briefly summarizes current research in artificial intelligence aiming at developing computers playing board games, and critically discusses how current theories of expertise fare with board games. Finally, it shows that the information provided by board game research, both data and theories, have a wider relevance for the understanding of human psychology in general.
Ethics in the Virtual World examines the gamer's enactment of taboo activities in the context of both traditional and contemporary philosophical approaches to morality. The book argues that it is more productive to consider what individuals are able to cope with psychologically than to determine whether a virtual act or representation is necessarily good or bad. The book raises pertinent questions about one of the most rapidly expanding leisure pursuits in western culture: should virtual enactments warrant moral interest? Should there be a limit to what can be enacted or represented within these games? Or, is it all just a game?
BACKGROUND: Despite marked costs and limited evidence regarding effectiveness, occupational therapy (OT) is widely applied in psychiatric settings and financed by health insurance companies in European countries. This pilot study investigated the antidepressive effects of adjuvant OT for patients with major depression in a 6-week inpatient setting, stratified for females and males.
METHODS: A total of 114 inpatients with major depression were assigned to either a standard OT group (using basic handcraft) or an active control group that played board games (2 h daily, 5 days a week). HAMD-21 scores were assessed as the primary outcome parameter after 3–6 weeks.
RESULTS: The OT intervention was not superior to “board game” (BG) activities in reducing depressive symptoms. However, significant interaction effects were found in favor of the OT group regarding anxiety measures and other variables. Male participants displayed more significant interaction effects than female participants.
CONCLUSIONS: OT as an adjuvant short-term treatment for inpatients with major depression may be more efficacious than game interventions in terms of reducing anxiety and other symptoms, particularly in males. Trial registration The study was registered in the EU Clinical Trials Register as a multicenter trial (EudraCT Number 2009016463-10; https://www.clinicaltrialsregister.eu/ctr-search/trial/2009-016463-10/DE#A) However, because of the elaborate setting requirements, the original study design with four centers was transformed into a solution with those two centers facilitating the pertinent resources. Furthermore, “mono-therapy with mirtazap‑ ine” was changed into “preferably mono-therapy with any antidepressant drug”
KEYWORDS: Adjuvant occupational therapy, Major depression, Antidepressive effects
This article incorporates self-esteem, a commonly researched concept in social psychology into a bargaining game. We investigate how self-esteem affects individual bargaining behaviors in the Chinese clothing market. We conduct the field and laboratory experiments to obtain a large sample of data on buyers’ bargaining behaviors. We find that their bargaining behaviors are positively correlated with their levels of self-esteem. Additionally, the offer amounts in the ultimatum game were significantly related to the buyers’ bargaining behaviors in the market, and this correlation was based on the level at which self-esteem impacted both the buyers’ bargaining behaviors and the buyers’ proposed decisions.
Keywords: Bargaining, Consumer Behavior, Games, Marketing, Observation Methods, Self-Esteem
ABSTRACT: Creativity is a crucial skill in the 21st century. Finding ways to develop and improve it is therefore an important issue. Games are powerful educational tools, and several early studies have shown the potential of video games and role-playing games to improve creativity. However, the question of the potential of board games is still open. The aim of this article was therefore to explore this topic, through two studies. Using a self-report questionnaire (N = 284), the first study showed that the frequency of playing board games was positively correlated with several components of creative potential: divergent thinking, openness to experiences, creative self-efficacy and creative personal identity. Using an experimental approach (N = 239), the second study demonstrated that playing creative games—requiring the generation of creative ideas—had a beneficial effect on participants' originality, compared to playing noncreative games and a control condition. This result was observed independently of the participants' baseline creative potential, derived using latent profile analysis. This beneficial effect, obtained after 30 minutes of play, could be used to temporarily improve creative performance, in education or in business.
ABSTRACT: Board games have often been recognised as a tool to model complex concepts in abstract environments for entertainment, education, and research in fields such as military and artificial intelligence. With more board games being designed and published, it is timely to draw attention towards board game design strategies and mechanics which capture the attributes that drive game play. The game design and the mechanics used define the structure, functionality and play experience of these games. Towards this end, this paper presents a data driven review of board game mechanics and play-related attributes, their interactions and relationships. The analysis expects to draw insights into how board games can be utilised across diverse domains as a tool to understand and explore complex concepts through abstract models. The investigations focus on identifying the trends and patterns of board games being published and their individual mechanics over time. Moreover, the correlation between mechanics and play-related attributes such as game complexity, rating and duration are explored. The interactions and similarities between individual mechanics based on co-occurrence, mutual information and clustering based approaches are also illustrated. The results show that the level of complexity and engagement of a game is not a simple function of the set of mechanics used, but rather the interactions that exist between mechanics, and the nature of their specific implementation are the critical factors in determining play experience of a board game.
INDEX TERMS: Board games, Board game mechanics, Data analytics
ABSTRACT: To examine the effectiveness of board games and programs that use board games, the present study conducted a systematic review using the PsycINFO and PubMed databases with the keywords “board game” AND “trial;” in total, 71 studies were identified. Of these 71 studies, 27 satisfied the inclusion criteria in terms of program content, intervention style, and pre–post comparisons and were subsequently reviewed. These 27 studies were divided into the following three categories regarding the effects of board games and programs that use board games: educational knowledge (11 articles), cognitive functions (11 articles), and other conditions (five articles). The effect sizes between pre- and post-tests or pre-tests and follow-up tests were 0.12–1.81 for educational knowledge, 0.04– 2.60 and − 1.14 – − 0.02 for cognitive functions, 0.06–0.65 for physical activity, and − 0.87 – − 0.61 for symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The present findings showed that, as a tool, board games can be expected to improve the understanding of knowledge, enhance interpersonal interactions among participants, and increase the motivation of participants. However, because the number of published studies in this area remain.
KEYWORDS: Board game, Systematic review, Education, Cognitive function
Abstract: In this article we argue that to study or apply games as learning environments, multiple perspectives have to be taken into account. We first define game-based learning and gamification, and then discuss theoretical models that describe learning with games, arguing that playfulness is orthogonal to learning theory. We then review design elements of games that facilitate learning by fostering learners' cognitive, behavioral, affective, and sociocultural engagement with the subject matter. Finally, we discuss the basis of these design elements in cognitive, motivational, affective, and sociocultural foundations by reviewing key theories from education and psychology that are the most pertinent to game-based learning and by describing empirical research on learning with games that has been or should be conducted. We conclude that a combination of cognitive, motivational, affective, and sociocultural perspectives is necessary for both game design and game research to fully capture what games have to offer for learning
ABSTRACT: Modern work in team structures makes team building interventions increasingly important. A phenomenon known to have a positive effect on efficient teamwork, i.e. team performance and team satisfaction, is the experience of flow – on both individual level and team level. Approaches in positive psychology can contribute to efficient teamwork by fostering the existing potentials and resources of team members and thereby increasing individual flow and team flow at work. The present study introduces a newly developed intervention in the form of a board game based on a variety of positive psychological constructs demonstrably associated with individual flow and team flow. The aim of the game is to enhance the players’ flow and team flow experiences at work. Twelve teams from different companies with a total of 65 participants played the game. The frequency of flow and team flow at work were assessed at three time points: before playing, two weeks after playing, and four weeks after playing, with 34 participants having completed the questionnaires at all three assessment points. We found a positive effect of the board game on team flow experience at work two weeks after playing. We assume that the game enhanced the team’s feeling of togetherness and open communication thereby also enhancing team members’ flow experiences.
KEYWORDS: Flow experience, Team flow experience, Board game, Team building
OBJECTIVES: Playing analog games may be associated with better cognitive function but, to date, these studies have not had extensive longitudinal follow-up. Our goal was to examine the association between playing games and change in cognitive function from age 11 to age 70, and from age 70 to 79.
METHOD: Participants were 1,091 nonclinical, independent, community-dwelling individuals all born in 1936 and residing in Scotland. General cognitive function was assessed at ages 11 and 70, and hierarchical domains were assessed at ages 70, 73, 76, and 79 using a comprehensive cognitive battery of 14 tests. Games playing behaviors were assessed at ages 70 and 76. All models controlled for early life cognitive function, education, social class, sex, activity levels, and health issues. All analyses were preregistered.
RESULTS: Higher frequency of playing games was associated with higher cognitive function at age 70, controlling for age 11 cognitive function, and the majority of this association could not be explained by control variables. Playing more games was also associated with less general cognitive decline from age 70 to age 79, and in particularly, less decline in memory ability. Increased games playing between 70 and 76 was associated with less decline in cognitive speed.
DISCUSSION: Playing games were associated with less relative cognitive decline from age 11 to age 70, and less cognitive decline from age 70 to 79. Controlling for age 11 cognitive function and other confounders, these findings suggest that playing more games is linked to reduced lifetime decline in cognitive function.
OBJECTIVES: To study the relationship between board game playing and risk of subsequent dementia in the Paquid cohort.
DESIGN: A prospective population-based study.
SETTING: In the Bordeaux area in South Western France.
PARTICIPANTS: 3675 non-demented participants at baseline.
PRIMARY OUTCOME MEASURE: The risk of dementia during the 20 years of follow-up.
RESULTS: Among 3675 non-demented participants at baseline, 32.2% reported regular board game playing. Eight-hundred and forty participants developed dementia during the 20 years of follow-up. The risk of dementia was 15% lower in board game players than in non-players (HR=0.85, 95% CI 0.74 to 0.99; p=0.04) after adjustment on age, gender, education and other confounders. The statistical significance disappeared after supplementary adjustment on baseline mini-mental state examination (MMSE) and depression (HR=0.96, 95% CI 0.82 to 1.12; p=0.61). However, board game players had less decline in their MMSE score during the follow-up of the cohort (β=0.011, p=0.03) and less incident depression than non-players (HR=0.84; 95% CI 0.72 to 0.98; p<0.03).
CONCLUSIONS: A possible beneficial effect of board game playing on the risk of dementia could be mediated by less cognitive decline and less depression in elderly board game players.
Select a Game From the Menu on the Left to Learn About It: