Are board games harmful? That is a question you may not think about too often, especially with all of the other dangers in this world attracting our attention. Before you assume, however, that board games are harmless fun, it is worth looking at this issue.
Examination: Are Board Games Harmful?
Some people advocate that video games are harmful; but what about board games? At first glance, it would appear that board games are harmless. Many people would prefer that their children, for example, play a nice game of chess instead of the latest violent video game. Dig a little deeper, however, and some problems can emerge.
Like many things in life, too much of a good thing can be harmful. Using the chess example, what happens if a child becomes addicted to the game? He or she may neglect school, friends and other necessary childhood experiences in order to become a grandmaster. This doesn't mean that playing chess or trying to become a grandmaster is inherently harmful. But, time spent playing a game means is time not doing other activities. The person playing the game needs to be aware of this and make decisions accordingly.
If someone repeatedly plays the game of Life, will he or she believe that the only way to get ahead in real life is to become a doctor or a lawyer? Those are the highest paying jobs in the game and being one of those two professions makes it easier to win.
What about the game monopoly; does it teach that greed is good? These ideas may seem far-fetched and even laughable. However, for a tiny fraction of people, games such as Life and Monopoly may alter their perspectives and maybe even their behaviors.
Ouija Board and Dungeons and Dragons
When considering the question "are board games harmful" many people would mention Ouija boards or the game Dungeons and Dragons.
To some people, a Ouija Board is just a game. Others, however, consider it evil and a way to communicate with spirits. Which one is right? The answer to that question likely depends on your religious beliefs and your own personal experiences with the game. Many people have played the game with no ill effects. But, then there are those stories of people who report experiencing strange happenings after playing.
Due to the reputation of this game, the safest thing to do is not play. If you feel like trying it, there are some ways to protect yourself.
- Don't ask questions that might upset you. Asking when you will die, for example, can be very disturbing, in particular if the date given is near. Even if you think it was your friend who moved the planchette over the numbers on the board, the information may still unnerve you.
- Don't invite spirits to enter or join you. If you are using a Ouija Board to attempt communication with a deceased person, don't allow them to "join" you if they request this. Even if it seems like you've made contact with a benevolent spirit, you really don't know whom or what you are communicating with.
Dungeon and Dragons
Dungeons and Dragons is the other board game that some consider harmful. The reasons are similar to the Ouija Board. Some people think that D&D is associated with the occult, and that playing the game will lead the person to dabble in occult activities. While this is certainly possible, there is no direct correlation between the two. Many who try occult activities have never played D&D, for example. Another common assumption about D&D is that it causes players to lose touch with reality as they delve deeper into the fantasy world of the game. Ultimately, the concern is that if someone creates a character who murders people in the game, that this person will then be prone to murdering someone in real life. Once again, there is no direct link between behavior in the game and behavior apart from the game.
If D&D has any harmful effects, it is most likely to come from playing the game too much. Like the chess example, it is possible for someone to spend too much time playing D&D at the expense of other areas of life.
Whether or not board games are harmful is a personal decision. Regardless of what you believe, don't let a board game, or anything for that matter, so take over your life that you lose track of what is important.