The benefits of the game

Several studies prove it. Playing games brings us multitudes of benefits. Shall we have a little game?


The benefits of the game

Playing has been shown to improve our mental health. But most people stop playing in childhood. How to rediscover the benefits of play once the games and toys have been put away?

Several psychologists have noted that playing games, board, cards, video, allowed to have a beneficial effect on our stress levels.

In a study conducted in Zürich, Switzerland and published in 2013adults who demonstrate more playful personality traits are more motivated, creative and spontaneous. There have even been connections between people with more… playful characteristics having lower blood pressure, as demonstrated in 2015.

While people who gamble less find it difficult to relax in their spare time and are often bored when their minds are unoccupied, those who are more inclined to gamble are aware of new opportunities and open to trying more variety. of activities. It’s not me who says it, but another 2021 study.

So with all of these benefits, all of these effects, all of these benefits, why do most adults stop gambling as adults? And how to relearn to play?

play more

René Proyer, professor of psychology at Martin Luther University in Halle-Wittenberg, Germany, states in a research from 2013 that adults who are playful and often gamble are the ones who are able to manage everyday situations in such a way that they become… fun, and intellectually stimulating.

Whether it’s a game of Candy Crush on your cell phone, a joke with your co-workers, or an evening board game with your buddies, most people are playful. And yet. The benefits of gambling can go unnoticed.

The benefits of play and a playful attitude can carry over into adulthood, says Proyer, adding that in the same way you might practice meditation or sports, a playful attitude and an attraction to play, social, should be seen as a skill that can be developed, harnessed and used.

Observe its benefits

A good starting point is simply to observe. Psychologist René Proyer suggests listing three moments at the end of each day when something spontaneous happened.

It could be a fun interaction with a stranger while you were enjoying your croissant or your coffee on a terrace, or a joke shared with your colleague. This technique, this practice helps us to start feeling confident to play and This will make us more aware of the presence of moments of joy in our daily lives.

Play should be seen as a skill that can be developed, harnessed and used for mindfulness

Rene Proyer

But in his study, the psychologist urges people to not being afraid to have fun in an activity not normally associated with adults. Games for adults, considered as… socially acceptable, like board games for example, often come with a list of rules and require a specific environment to be played.

According to him, these games encourage less creativity and spontaneous playful behavior. And add to that the competition and frustration associated with winning and losing. The psychologist affirms that the more the interaction or the activity is unexpected, the better and the more one develops his playful attitude. Playfulness, as we say in English. Play, yes. But unexpectedly, spontaneously.

It’s personal

Our enjoyment of playing can depend on both our personality and our willingness to be open to new forms of interactions, conversations and experiences. Proyer suggests that if you’re the most playful at home with your partner or family, for example, try using the same conversational techniques with co-workers or friends. And watch the results.

The benefits of such a playful attitude, of… playing, more, often, points to a wide range of social benefits. What motivates us to develop and integrate such an attitude with the people with whom we interact.

At first glance, it might seem that most adults don’t play as often as they would like. Perhaps, as Proyer suggests, because socially acceptable adult games, such as board or role-playing games, aren’t as fun. And those that are, such as party games, delusional, for example, can be considered… embarrassing, for some. Not…serious enough.

I have swimming pool

In his 2017 researchSebastian Deterding, professor of digital creativity at the University of York, argues that for adults to engage in playful activities without guilt, they can be prepared with socially acceptable “excuses”,… “alibis”.

He gives the example of the book The Mindfulness Coloring Book: Anti-Stress Art Therapy for Busy People by Emma Farrarons, which aims to make the somewhat… embarrassing act socially acceptable, “ cringe coloring page for adults. We then use the “alibi” that it is a therapy for successful people.

However, with the rise of social media over the past few decades, the slider of what is “acceptable” for adults has shifted. Platforms like YouTube and Twitch in particular popularize gaming culture. Games are now played in front of hundreds, thousands, hundreds of thousands of people. Video, board or role-playing games are no longer… shameful. Quite the contrary. This is a major shift in our society, culture and collective consciousness.

play and therapy

Video games are one of the few forms of adult play therapy that carry less social stigma. While some adults might feel the need to hide their playful side, the market for video games and mobile games among adults has exploded in recent years. The global gaming market was valued at $174 billion in 2020 and is expected to be worth $314 billion by 2026.

The mental health benefits of games, whether board, card, role-playing or video, are well established. And why, how? Because play takes away, immerses. And immerses us in this state of intense bliss, the “flow”.

Flow is the optimal experience, when nothing else matters. This state is also experienced by athletes and sportswomen and sportsmen when they are in the zone, as they say.

Playing to find the state of flow can provide a pleasant time and a distraction from our problems. Play would therefore help us to improve, to achieve our well-being, our happiness.

As an adult with responsibilities, pressures and goals, it can be easy to lose sight of those little playful moments in everyday life. But these moments are the most memorable parts of everyday life. And the funniest memories we will have and share with friends, colleagues and family.

In conclusion, with all the benefits that come with it, it’s no exaggeration to say that making a tiny effort to be a little more playful and playful should be part of our day.

Have you ever thought nostalgically about the games and toys of your childhood? And did you miss those lost moments of play, innocence and playfulness? Maybe that feeling never really left you. It may just be a little harder to find, drowned in our daily hassles. It’s up to us to find it and bring it out.


Article written by Gus. Editor-in-chief of Gus&Co. Has worked in the gaming world since 1989 as an author and journalist. And as a player, above all. Is also a fighter pilot for the American army, top model, bio-geneticist specializing in the resurrection of dinosaurs, world champion in Thai boxing and vegan baking, triceratops tamer, inventor of the iPhone and mythomaniac.

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The benefits of the game