Games for your mind

Archive for April 2009

You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.

Toys existed since ancient times because the man always had a deep relation with toys.


A lot of toys discovered in some archeological sites around the world are dolls and toy soldiers, the old ancestor of Barby and G.I. Joes.

800px-roman-toysHistory of toys follows the development of human society , ancient toys where made of wood, stone or clay, like old tools.
In ancient Egypt little girls had porcelain dolls with fake hairs and kids of ancient Rome used to play with fake arches and wood swords.
Even the yo-yo has old origins, the firsts were made in wood in Cina more than 2500 years ago and in Greece, yo yo, decorated with divinities images, were very popular in 500 b.C.
Incas finds too,  show the love of this culture for toys like wooden circles and well shaped dolls. Medieval games where made of woods: in this period were invented the famous rocking-horse and the miniature playhouses.
In late  Middle Ages, can be tracked the origins of handmade wood toys for nobles children.
Wood toy manufactory is a real art and rare, ancient wood toys became part of hig value collections. There are collectors ready to spend thousands of dollars for a small wooden toy.

city-in-a-bag-prNowadays, a lot of small companies are specialized in wooden toys manufactory, making great and stylish old fashion products, like
London city in a bag here.

this means that old fashion games are still desired from children all over the world.

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indiraghanditime A famous quote of Indira Nehru Gandhi is: All my games were political games I was, like Joan of Arc, perpetually being burned at the stake.
Indira Ghandi suggests that if If you have a moral, poltical or ethical principle, you should follow it and take inspiration from it, even if you risk the gallows.
And here is the question, why if we the have worldwide shared human principles, a kid can make robberies, steal cars and kill everyone playing a videogame?
What kind of message is this?
Is criminal violence cool?
Fortunately, in the video game industry there are also great examples of clever games and new products, oriented to  education, fitness, brain training etc.
I’m for this second kind of games, not only because they’re physically and mentally healthy,  but also I think that the deeper essence of any kind of game is to educate and to build a consciousness of  the elementary human principles and behaviors.
In this sense a game choice is a political game, because you choose if you want to deal with the improvement of yourself or with brutality and criminality.
Indira Gandhi’s big lesson in her small sentence about “political games”,  gives me a good reason to say that I would prefer being put at the stake rather than kill a character in a videogame.

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Brougère (Jeu et éducation 1995) defines different characteristics to identify a game:

  • Rules
  • Uncertain results
  • Decisions
  • Absence of consequences

The word parlour game itself has different meanings:
Parluor Game is the material; the boards, the dices and all the other objects of a game
Parlour Game is the structure; all the rules and mechanisms of the game.
Parlour Game is the action of playing, and each player acts in a particular way.
All games are based either on the relation between the player and the game, or on the playing dynamics among all the players.
This dual relationship always asks to the player a free and open state of mind to enjoy the real spirit of the game, its social activity, its open possibilities, and its unexpected journeys around our elementary social behavior.

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Schiller  used to say : “Man only plays when in the full meaning of the word he is a man, and he is only completely a man when he plays”, this is very true, because during the game the children start to discover himself and  adults can free their minds for a while from problems and other real life issues. While we are playing we can get rid of our anger and stress, and chose what to be for that game contest. In role play we can simulate different lives, powers, and worlds to enjoy this cathartic experience without external contaminations.
Is scientifically proved that no matter how old we get,  with games  we learn an practise creativity, show hidden aspects of our personality, and develop interpersonal communication skills.

Game is a strong personality builder, through playing we develop :

emotional sphere Emotional sphere; the capability to understand and manage our and others emotions

brain Cognitive skills; such as problem solving, memory, and language

social skills Social skills; to improve interaction and communication with others

So what are you waiting for?
Start playing!

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April 2009
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