Different Eras, Different Games, Create a Different Person...

August 27, 2016

 

Whether you're baby boomers or millennials, you must have played dozens of memorable table top games in your life, such as " Monopoly "," Game of Life "," Ludo "," Chess "," Go "," Chinese Checker " and etc. These well-known childhood games have actually shaped our society over generations. Starting from World War II, applied mathematics has become the hottest subject of research by many mathematicians. The emergence of "Gaming Theory" coupling with the explosive growth of computing technologies, scientists are now able to solve many complex math problems of our past.  The rapid development of artificial intelligence and wireless data technologies have enabled us to change our ways of living. Revolutionary inventions such as driverless-car and self-learning robot will soon take over our world. But technologies also bring new challenges to humanity. Our continuous research and development may not always bring benefits to our society. Today, supercomputers with super artificial intelligence algorithms have surpassed human intelligence in many popular strategy games such as Chess and Go. As an experienced I.T. expert, we must not deny the fact that board games have played a pivotal role in the evolution of computer technologies. Game mechanics are not only changing our ways to solve  problems, but also shaping our personality and exposing our weaknesses. A serious "Monopoly" player will do well in real estate investment, a skillful "Poker" player may be very good at his bluffing techniques, and a "Go" fanatic will most likely be a careful and thoughtful person. Different games will likely offer some degree of cognitive improvements over each stereotype of people. Therefore we must never ignore the tremendous benefits of playing board games during childhood development.

 

Table top games today have become diverse, commercialized and complex. They are no longer simple to learn or suitable for the tastes of the general public. With the popularity of foreign cultures, many game designers have shifted from the traditional table top to electronic platforms such as smart phones and smart pads. The number of game players is now surging to billions. Users of all ages are indulging themselves daily in a variety of smartphone-related activities such as texting and gaming. Researchers have already attributed game violence to an upsurge of violent behaviors in the world. Adults and kids are flocking our streets as " phubbers ", " Pokémon catchers "," selfie addicts "," YouTube addicts "," WeChat addicts "," Bejeweled Blitz Addicts " and etc. In fact, the smartphone revolution has not only erased the growing up years of our children but also shorten the parenting time with our children. Sadly, online texting has also brought casualties on the roads in many countries. It has also created a new breed of cyber bullies. Bloggers and netizens will face online ridicules and verbal abuses if their views are in contrary to others. Hacking and video image sharing activities have also exposed our children to the criminal elements of the internet. Teenage suicide cases are on a steady increase over the years in many well- developed and developing nations.

 

We may have lost the war on smartphone addiction among kids and adults. Their blind acceptance and embrace of the "app" culture pose a big risk to the future of our society. Their emotional development and interpersonal communication skills have taken a giant leap backward on the information super highway. Since technology is constantly moving forward, we must help our next generation to gather wisdom and intelligence to face this internet evolution. We should never succumb to go with the flow. We've created the past and now is the time to alter our future. The key is how we bring back traditional family values with innovative table top games. By creating a physical medium, table top strategy games can revive parent-child interaction in families while raising our cognitive skills together. An old Chinese poet once said, "... books hold a house of gold..." It is fair to say that "... games hold the strategy of success..."

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