Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Gaming Improves Critical Thinking

I have people ask me questions about my creative process all the time. The main thing I'm specifically asked about is why I have such a vivid imagination.

I'd like to say genetics or my personality as the answer, but that would be dishonest.  In truth, the thing I attribute most influential to my imagination, my creativity and my critical thinking skills is gaming.

And I'm not talking about video games, although I think they have helped me too.  I'm talking about role-playing games, specifically tabletop role-playing.

It's more than just pretending to be a character.  The real trick is to think in terms of how your characters think.  And if you are dealing with a fantasy world, it is important to imagine in your mind what the character you are role playing sees.  The more you role-play, the more characters you play in different settings, the more your mind can process highly detailed images in the imagination.  And this is considered as real as it gets "out of the box" thinking.  A tabletop gamer can put together pieces of a situation that normally wouldn't fit into the real world.

Role playing also has the benefit of teaching very important skills, including leadership skills.  Given a specific problem, a group of players may have various ideas about how to resolve that problem.  In my experience, a leader tends to rise up among the players and uses critical thinking skills to deduce the problems.

So one of the ways that I encourage my children's creativity is to get them involved in role playing.  I'm sure there is a scientific study out there somewhere that will probably say the same thing.  I'm just saying that I've seen it first hand with countless table-top gamers because they are some of the most creative and intelligent people I've ever met.

~Will

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