Games for your mind

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green toys

green toys

Ecofriendly gifts could be a great way to teach children an ecologic view.
I think that everyone of us knows how important are renewable energies to reduce the earth pollution and try to preserve our ecosystem.
Now days there are a lot of  ecofriendly gifts that work with solar energy and can be given to kids to introduce them to the ecological issues of our society.
Increase the energy standards in our cities and  change the way we produce Energy may be a too deep arguments for a child, but giving him an ecofriendly game powered by small photovoltaic cells could give the children the opportunity to familiarize with their future.
It’s not just about the battery savings or the fact that ecofriendly gifts are even cheaper than traditional ones, it’s about teaching something important to our children.
This is the real added value of these products:  When our son will ask us “how works this object?”, we will respond “with the sun” and we’ll explain the solar energy concept
In my opinion this is something highly positive for a child.
Maybe solar gifts will not be able to solve the global warming, but every little helps… and probably teaching an ecologic approach to the life to our children could help them to succeed tomorrow in what we’re failing today:  preserve our beloved and beautiful planet earth.

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Eco friendly gifts for him and her

Ecology and eco-friendly gifts

The training options that a company has for an effective personnel training include various topics:
- Play an active role
- Release a best share compared to its potential
- Get a better personal satisfaction
- Socialize on collective course to reach the knowledge
This attitude is encouraged by the needs and the goals of collective courses of corporate training.
Edutainment are developed and created to stimulate an independent learning attitude among employers (lifelong learning), through funny and pleasant experiences.
The neologism Edutainment comes from the fusion of the words “education” and “entertainment” and define the action of instruct and socialize one or more person using an entertainment form of communication.
Simulation games are built to explore different alternatives about individual and group behaviours in different micro or macro markets and work environments.
Simulations games spread the technical business knowledge and favour the active integration about corporate objectives,
In particular role games and Lifelong learning are created to encourage people to enjoy their life and work time and, above of all, to get the most out of any activity they ‘re involved in.
The video below shows a role game organized by an important company to build the corporate group; employers become, in the games simulation, members of a fictional army wich must act like in a warfield.

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Recreational attitude has an eclectic and a multiform nature, a fluid ad dynamic structure that can change anytime when different inputs or actions are involved in the game.
Games dynamics studies have to focus their attention on social and psychological aspects involved during the games’ performances.
During a football game, a tennis match, a chess game, or just during hide and seek always important aspects of the human nature are involved and challenged.
This is the reason why For social science and psychology these gaming situation are an important field of study and represent an opportunity to develop theories and experimental games for study purposes.
For example games, role playing and recreational activities are widely used in management training and Human resource assessments with great results.
During special types of psychological games is very difficult to fake and that’s why H&R experts can understand a lot about a person after few minutes of playing.
Games are important for team building and mutual trust development.
An example of team building game to develop in few time mutual trust among members of a new group is the game of the fall:
Each member step on a chair, flop down backwards and the other members of the team take him and lift him up.
there are a lot of different trust games that can be played for an educational and proactive approach to team building studies, in this video a youth group of scholars play the trust game falling from the teacher’s desk.
This is a good school!

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game-theoryGames theory is a disciple that studies the problem of the interdependence between the players of the same game.
The behaviour analysis of game players is called strategic interaction and is used in Business studies to understand complex aspects of some kinds of markets and to build descriptive models based on subjects’ behaviours in uncertain situations.
For example, the famous “prisoner’s dilemma” is one of the main problems in game theory and is used to explain the reasons of a certain player’s choice rather than another one.
Originally developed by Merrill Flood e Melvin Dresher, the prisoner’s dilemma is based on the following riddle:

Two men are arrested by the cops, but they don’t have sufficient evidence to incriminate them:
for this reason, the cops decide to lock the two prisoners in different rooms and visit them separately to make a deal.

  1. If one of them testifies (defects) against the other he will obtain the liberty and his crime partner will be sentenced to 10 year in jail.
  2. If both remain silent, the will convicted to six months jail sentence.
  3. If each betrays the other both of them will receive a five year jail sentence.

So prisoners have to choose if betray the other or remain silent with the reassurance that nobody will ever know that he betrayed his partner before the end of the trial.
Now the fundamental question is: how should the prisoners act?
The game theory explains this dilemma with the help of Pareto optimality, a concept developed by the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto who studied the economic efficiency.
The best choice for both the prisoners is to play in accord with the dominant strategy and confess their crime.  This is the only way to contain the damages and the risks of be betrayed first by the other, minimizing the risk of a 10years jail sentences.
This interesting slide is a good introduction to the game theory study.

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clever-games

Games are very important during the child’s growth, and for this reason is very important promote clever gaming activities to our kids. On a social level, children start to develop their gaming activities in three different stages:

  1. Individual games; is typical of new born babies  and it doesn’t involve any social interaction;
  2. Collateral games, children between 1 and three years start to find the firsts gaming interactions with their contemporaries, but the game still remains individual;
  3. Group games, children between four and five years start to develop more complex interactions during the gaming activities and the gaming group became a micro-universe in which children start to experiment the firsts social relations and to understand group dynamics functioning.

Besides, children’s gaming activities are important for the evolutionary development of the child for these two main reasons:

  1. With  the gaming activities, children start to discover the external reality, the unknown world that is still out of his reach;
  2. Gaming activities help children to be in control of their internal word made of passions, instincts, and to find the perfect balance between this world and the external one.

With clever games children can discover, understand, know new things, manage their needs and follow their interests.
Children need positive experiences, harmony and love: gaming activities can favourite all those important emotions.
These are alle the important reasons  why gaming activities are considered not only as the best way for children to develop their emotions and feelings, but also as  the best  knowledge tools to discover the unknown world.

Clever Games for Clever People

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John_Lennon_mind_gamesToday I would like to make a tribute to a music legend of the past: John Lennon, probably one of the greatest artist of the last century, and to one of his best soloist songs:  Mind Games, which is also the title  of the album released in 1973 that bring back John Lennon‘s music on the emotional Pop-Rock sound.

Mind Games is not so famous like Imagine or other big hits of Lennon, but I think it’s one of the most interesting Lennon’s soloist works. Originally entitled make “Make Love, Not War”, like the famous  slogan against the war in Vietnam, Mind Games is another masterpiece deeply related to the  pacifist hymn “Give Peace A Chance”.

Mind Games stands for the possibility of use our own brightness to change the world, like Lennon did, using his fame to protest against the war and defend world peace. Mind Games is another great artistic prove of Lennon‘s commitment, explicitly declared in the last ironic sentence of the song: I want you to make love, not war, I know you’ve heard it before.

Games for your mind is all about that feeling so well expressed in this beautifull song: love not war, education not violence, free thoughts not  manipulation,  fair play not romp.

Playing  Clever games together today to paint a brighter  tomorrow!

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Pubs_gamesIn the United Kingdom we have about 60.000 pubs,  some of them with a long history and tradition. Since old times people always played games in the pubs,  between a drink and another, English people always find Some time to play traditional pubs games such as darts, board games, quizzes, mind games, card games, role games etc.
Probably is  for this reason that United Kingndom has a great history of gaming and was one of the first nations in the world to develop and create modern board games as we all know today.
some traditional pub games have been lost during the years, but some others  became worldwide famous and they’re still played  and loved by the new generations.  Dominos, skittles, table football, pub quiz games, those are the evergreen games still played around in all Great Britain’s pubs.
Played_at_ the_ pub_bookIf you want to learn more about this narrow and fascinating history, there’s an interesting book written by Arthur Taylor called “Played at the Pub: The Pub Games of Britain”, in which the author retrace all the most important stories and anecdotes related to pubs games, with images, narrations and attestations.
After reading this book next time  we go to our favorite pub we can explain ,during  a gaming,  contest to our friends all the real story of the most famous pubs games!

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Modern board games are thought and developed to improve or brain skills and mind activities:
other than fun enjoinment and pleasure, those clever games are one of the best way to learn about our history, literacy, to develop a goal motivation and general knowledge, to build a
Intuitively thought, to take risks and forecast the consequences, to take rewards or accept defeats.
This smart presentation shows what board games could do for the 21st  century education.

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Role game_boxI would like to start this new column, to explain and enlighten anyone interested to that particular form of gaming called role game.

Role games are now very popular all over the world. More than 1000 games were published after the first launch in 1974 of “Dungeons & Dragons”, the father of all modern role games; But, especially between non players, a lot of people don’t know what a role game is exactly, so I’ll try give a simple definition for it. A role game is a particularly form of gaming in which players pretend to be the characters of a story invented move after move by themselves, under the supervision of a Master (Narrator).

The Master expose a situation to the partakers and each one of them tells  what he would do to solve the dilemma and overcome the difficulties of the adventure; for example how to liberate a princes locked up in a remote fortress from an evil magician or how to prevent the outlaws from making robberies in the wild west.
Normally a role game is played around a table and if a player wants to do an action with uncertain results (like jump from a running train to fight against a dragon), throws the dices and the story change in a way or in another according to the dices’ score.

Who wins the role game?

Nobody wins, because role game is not about wining, is about narration and cooperation, the aim of every role game is to have fun and invent an all-involving story together.
And the Master? The Master doesn’t play, he only describes the game’s situations and coordinate players’ actions during the development of the story; he’s the supervisor and also leads all the others character of the story that interact with players’ characters (like the evil magician who locked up the princess in my example). The Master is the arbiter, the caretaker and the director of the role game.

How long does the group of players take to finish the role game?

A single story or an adventure can last for two hours to few months, but role game’s characters are like the protagonists of a literary saga or a television series : ended one story, they can be used for other adventures, improving their powers and shaping their temper with more accuracy.

The most amazing thing of the role game is that it has not boundaries, the only limit is your fantasy! This is the reason why Role Games are often called “the gym of  human creativity”.

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radha-krishna_chessAll modern studies on chess genealogy agree that we can find the origins of chess in ancient India, when, in an indeterminate period around the 6th century during the Gupta Empire, the game called Chaturanga, was invented.
Chaturanga, literally means “the game of the four armies” and after its rapid diffusion in India and Persia during the 7th century, the game reached late medieval Europe and was transformed in the modern game of chess in the 15 century.
The “four armies” of Chaturanga are made of pieces similar to chess displayed on an 8×8 uncheckered board. The original and older version of this board game was called Chaturaji (“four kings”) , it’s for four players and each player has a Raja (King), a Yaanei (Elephant = Bishop), Iratham (Chariot = Rook), and ‘Kutharei (Horse= Knight ) And four Padàti (Foot-soldiers = Pawns); probably that’s why in modern chess have eight Pawns and two of each rook, knight and bishop.
The word rook of chess, for example, comes from Persian rokh which means chariot, and that’s how the Chaturanga’s piece was called in ancient Persia, this explains also why the rook in chess can move only on its horizontal axis or on his vertical axis because the chariot has the wheels and can’t jump or move in diagonal. The bishop of chess comes from the Elephant that in Chaturanga moves only two squares per time and the queen wasn’t a special piece like in modern chess, it only could move one square per time in order to protect the king.
Despite its old age Chaturanga is still played around the world especially in India and in the Middle East.

chaturanga

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