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I’d like to talk to you today about real-life skills that we can learn from board games, or board games that can help us day to day. Today’s topic is critical thinking and problem-solving. 

How does this figure in with board games then? 

Well quite often depending on what board game were playing, we are analysing a situation, we’re using the knowledge that we have about that situation and developing a strategy. 

So a lot of games (well that I think) that would fall into this category would generally be referred to by gamers as euro games. Though you could also argue that risk, sort of fits this too. So let’s use that as an example. 

Because you do need to look at the situation, decide where you are, use the knowledge of what you’ve got, you’ve got some hidden cards in your hands, and have a strategy for where you want to go. 

But I was thinking to begin with something more along the lines of something like Dominant Species. 

Now dominant species is a game where you are taking on the role of a different species. So somebody might be the mammals, somebody might be birds, somebody might be reptiles, somebody might be insects. And each one of those has you know different abilities, different things, different ways of doing things, different ways of growing their population. 

It’s a game that can be really really quite harsh. 

So because everything changes, it’s so dynamic, by the time it gets around to your next go, things might look very very different to at the end of your previous go. It really does require you to analyse the ongoing situation. Use your knowledge of what’s going on and what different skills people have, to develop your strategy for just how you’re going to make sure that your species is the one that’s going to win the game. 

You might take a game such as Eclipse. 

Eclipse is an epic space kind of game, where you’re exploring, you’re building your resources, as you’re building your spaceships. And your tracking different things, different resources around the side of the board, you’re deciding well do I need to research to get some new technology? 

Do I want to upgrade my ships? 

Do I actually want to go and take over this area that somebody else is in? 

You can quite easily go through the game with no combat at all, you can just hide away in a corner if you’re lucky enough. Or you might just decide to go in all guns blazing, but you’re using your knowledge of the situation, you’re analysing and you’re having a strategy to either help yourself win or prevent somebody else from completing an objective. 

But you’re using critical thinking and problem-solving while you’re doing this.

So again it’s something that we can take out into our everyday lives, thats a skill that we can hone through playing board games.