Games for your mind

Posts Tagged ‘Psychology

Jacob L. Moreno

Jacob L. Moreno

The term role-playing game has roots in the history of psychology.
In fact, The first to coin the term “Role Play” was Jacob L. Moreno in 1934, after experimenting in 1921 the “theatre of spontaneity”.

Jacob Levy Moreno was a leading psychiatrist, thinker and educator and has been recognized as one of the pioneer of group psychotherapy.

In 1930 Moreno emigrated to the United States and began to develop the technique of psychodrama which is still used in psychotherapy: in the psychodrama technique the patient has to recall and act (like he is on a stage) a past conflict he had against someone.

Then the roles are switched and the patient plays the part of his opponent to try to understand what the other person has felt in that occasion.

But this first sense of the word role-play has no relation with the role play intended as recreational activity, derived from war–games. dungeons and dragons

The role-playing games were played for the first time in the late sixties at the University of Minnesota war-game society.
In 1971, one student Gary Gygax developed in  a war-game with medieval setting called Chainmail, wich become very popular among all Minnesota undergratduates.

But was only in 1974, when Gygax and his mate Dave Arneson invented and released the first edition of Dungeons & Dragons that that role-playing games became worldwide famous.
For this reason, D & D is considered the first modern role-playing game and had a lot of influence on later role-playing games.

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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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kids-and-gamesOn a cognitive level the game is important for memory improvement, concentration, attention.
It’s a matter of fact that a poor recreational activity can compromise the cognitive development of a child.
Swiss psychologist Piaget proposed a classification of games types based on the structure of the game itself and at the same time on the genetic evolution of cognitive process:

  1. Exercise games are those types of games related to newborn babies until two years old. The baby try to understand how his body movement works and start to develop his motor skills;
  2. Symbolic games; simulation is the main aspect of the game and pretend to be someone else in a fantasy scenario is one of the most interesting aspect of any kind of game; according to Piaget symbolic games can help the child to organize his thoughts to a level that the language hasn’t reached yet. With symbolic games children start to develop “mental images” to learn and experiment new situations;
  3. Rule games start like imitations of holder kids games, and year by year define the child’s approach to socialization, Rule games became more frequent year after year, instead other types of games tend to decrease with the passing of time, proving how important are social relation and code rules.

We can say then that game is a spontaneous and natural activity that follow all the evolutional steps of a man, from childhood to maturity. In childhood in particular, games are for kids an important learning and self improvement tool; in general, the absence of games in a child’s life, is a symptom of discomfort and malaise.

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kids playingIs in the early childhood that a kid start to discover is capabilities and all the brand new world around him; someone called this the “why period” because the endless curiosity of a child is always dedicated to ask questions to his parents even on deep arguments and sometimes the genitor doesn’t know how to explain such difficult arguments to his 6 year old son.
Childhood is a crucial stage in the development of personality, because the kid is like a “tabula rasa”, and parents and teachers have to do their best to built mental contents and find the best ways to develop the kid’s knowledge whit shaping experiences in order to stimulate and favour their mental activity.
As Giovanni Pascoli, one of the greatest Italian writer and poet of the last century, suggest in his “poetica del fanciullino” (young boy poetics) poets and writer must should approach the world like kids do.
Pascoli, influenced by James Sully studies on children’s psychology, developed an approach to writing with “kids eyes”, in order to look all things with amazement and wonder.
Kids had this great attitude to approach the world whit surprise even for those little insignificant things object and basics phenomenon of knowledge that adults take for granted because they have experienced those many time in their life. When we grow up, and we left behind us childhood, we lose this “wonder attitude” for ordinary things because we tend to see things trough our ratio and direct experience.
Probably that’s one of the principal reasons why childhood is the most incredible and happy period of our life:
imagine how could be for a children of five year look at a train for the first time, maybe he can’t understand the train function at first sight, because is difficult for him find the logical cause-effects links without a previous experience; so his fantasy start to run and this mysterious and massive moving object appears like something magic to his pure eyes. All this guesses, fantasies and mental activities are unthinkable for an adult who knows exactly what is a train and what it’s for; a man could make all the rational thoughts on the train, could know all the mechanics and the complex aspects of the locomotive could even know how to drive a train, the only think he can’t do is looking at the train with “Child’s Eyes”.
That’s because adults normally use their rational part to approach things and thoughts, and tend  to repress their fantasy especially for well known things and routinely activities.
For the kids every new experience is an adventure, a tale, and often, the most common and ordinary objects became games in the hand of a child : a stick could be a sword, a broom handle a horse, a salad bowl put on the head a shining beaver and the home back garden an incredible war field.   Fantasy of kids has not limits and boundaries, adult rationality is circumscribed, well defined and most of the times shaped on direct experience.
like Peter Pan, adults should listen sometimes the little child inside them.

The spontaneous game is the most important aspects of a child life, and parents must always encourage their little sons to play.
Some educational board games like brain boxes were developed to let the kids learn new things, stimulate their fantasy, and improve their memory.
These games are great educational tools, especially if played by father (or mother) and child (or daughter).
I know you’re busy with your works and daily problems, but remember this simple truth:
a good genitor can alway find some time to play with his son.

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