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Do Board Games Help With Real Life Skills?

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

As someone who has grown up playing board games, I have found that many of them involve tons of critical thinking and strategizing. They are a way of bonding with others as well as enhancing critical thinking skills. There are ranges of difficulty with these games which can start at simple and go all the way to being very complicated that you are sitting in your basement trying to learn the rules for four hours. Which board games help us with real life skills? These games listed below are ones that I find to be challenging for me.

Settlers of Catan

Settlers of Catan is one of those games that will make or break friendships. The game is played with three to four people and the objective of the game is to try to get the most victory points by either building settlements, development cards, or longest road. This game has you thinking five turns ahead so that you are prepared of what you could do. You could also take different ways to achieve victory points. This game is a good skill for real life because it teaches you to always think ahead of what you could do and to keep your options open.


If you have ever played Mafia, One Night Werewolf, or The Resistance they’re similar to Deception. There is a group of people who are sitting in a circle with eight cards in front of them. Four cards are the weapon the murder used and the other four are what the murderer left behind. There is someone who is not part of the game that is giving everyone clues. You can work together to find out the weapon and the item the murder left behind is. This game is a useful skill because you are using your brain to work with others to discover possibilities. Listening to others theories on what the murderer used and left behind is always fascinating to hear.

Betrayal At House On A Hill

Betrayal is a game where there are around 60 different scenarios that could be played out on the board. Each game is a different round with different objectives after the haunt begins. Someone in the three to six player group will become the traitor and the rest of the players are working to figure out how to defeat the traitor. Last year my family and I spent 32 hours playing the Legacy version in which you tear up cards and add new cards to the deck. In the game, you discover each other’s strengths and weaknesses. I find this game to teach me how to deal with scenarios that are thrown at you and what to do. 


The game that most people enjoy playing: UNO. UNO is a card game that will also make or break friendships. You are thinking of the possibilities on how you can win or what the next move should be when it is your turn.This game that has been around for a while and is one that teaches time management skills and mathematical skills for young kids. Playing this game when we were young helped us advance in those skills.


Lastly, Pandemic. This game is a co-op game where you have to work together to find a cure for the four diseases of the world before it’s too late. This game gives an intake of how epidemics and pandemics spread throughout the world. It shows that diseases are not as easy looking as we think and gives a sense of what the medics are dealing with, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. This game gives a sense of the process of how a disease can start in one city then spread to the cities next to it, until it is spread everywhere.

Games are something that has always been an enjoyable experience to me. Always keep in mind when playing board games they are meant to be fun as well as a way to increase strategic skills. Board games should be a way to unify a group of people together.

Hi, my name is Soffia. I am a junior with a major in SMAD and my concentration is Journalism. My hometown is Ashburn, VA, back up in Northern Virginia. I love to watch anime and play board games in my free time!
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