Role playing games allow children to break the walls of reality, get into character and act out different situations.
Apart from being playful, this type of game should also be an integral part of the developmental process since it promotes the development of many skills in children.
Here are just a few benefits of role playing games.
1. Playing Cultivates Creativity
Although there are certain rules in each game, they serve just as general guidelines, while the essence of the game is children’s imagination.
The story and roles may move and develop in any direction they can think of.
In most of these games, storytelling is the key component, and it is one of the most demanding mental activities. In storytelling, children rely on their knowledge language and create correlations between the causes and effects of events, based on their previous experiences.
2. Playing Levels up Your Social Skills
Developing social skills is an imperative in today’s society, as children’s success at school and later in life is closely related to how well they interact with others. Role-playing games can be played only in a group, which makes them 100% social.
Children have to interact with each other directly, and this sort of a ‘forced’ social interaction can help them develop the much needed skills. While there are no computer screens to hide behind, like in video games, children have certain masks in the form of their characters, which can help them overcome shyness by pretending to be someone else.
Different roles help them put themselves in different social environments and serve as a sort of practice for real life situations. Being able to communicate with others is the definition of sound social skills, and role-playing develops both verbal and non-verbal communication skills.
3. Playing Encourages Teamwork and Cooperation
These games are not designed to be competitive. There are no winners or losers in them. There is only a game well played by everyone on the team or a failed attempt.
Since there are no strict rules, most of the game is based on agreement. First, the children need to agree on the topic of the game, then they assign roles, and finally bring it all together into a kind of a performance. In order for the game to move on, there needs to be a consensus on all aspects of the game.
So children need to learn to control their impulses, respect the opinions of the others, and negotiate. It also teaches them empathy, since they get a chance to walk in someone else’s shoes for a while. Role-playing is quite similar to work.
You have certain skills and if you do not do your part of the job, the whole team suffers the consequences.
4. Playing Teaches Problem Solving Skills
Role-playing games and campaigns are composed of problems that children need to solve in order for the game to continue.
Whether they need to solve a riddle, or find out who stole a precious artefact, they will need to use their past experience and abstract thinking skills. Again, different roles will require them to observe the problem from different perspectives.
They will also develop some improvisation skills when they encounter a tough barely solvable problem. Apart from critical thinking, some games promote practical skills, like math (pretending to be a cashier), and reading (news presenter), etc.
All these problem-solving games are also available online, on websites like Poptropica, where kids can compete, play and communicate safely. For example, in Poptropica Mythology Island kids can learn about Greek mythology and have fun in the same time.
5. Playing Is Fun
Playing is the natural right of all children and for a good reason.
While playing, children are learning through fun. And a lot of it. Do you remember when was the last time you felt like a child and did something silly?
Was not that one of the best times you ever had? Life can be hard sometimes, and we all need an escape from reality. That is precisely what role-playing games are.