The great thing is that they all share benefits, especially for the sake of teens and adolescent players that have taken an interest in them. As tabletop games continue to rise in popularity, it becomes more and more important to analyze the effects they have on our youth.
Growing in Confidence
Coming out of your shell throughout your youth can be incredibly difficult, and this can lead to a stunting of social skills. Adopting a role can help teens to overcome this shyness. Games like charades with its high-energy group atmosphere can help youths of all ages to become used to being in groups. This can help with eliminating feelings of shyness and stage fright and replace them with an activity that forces abstract thought, as well as being a great work out!
Learning About the World Around You
Role-playing games tend to be more focused towards teenagers, but there are excellent benefits for younger children as well when applied with a fitting game. One of the best uses of role playing for a child is that it helps them learn about societal roles. To be clear, I don’t mean gender roles, but more occupational ones. A young child might put on a white coat and a stethoscope and play doctor for their parents. This helps them learn what a doctor does in society, and has the added boon of helping them not be so afraid when the time comes for them to visit the real doctors themselves.
The same example can be applied to most toys. A child playing with a garbage truck will make the link to the truck that comes around every week to collect trash. Another playing with a construction set will feel engaged when they see a construction site outside of the car window.
A child learns these things by adapting into the role themselves. There’s no need to sit them down with a book and explain to them what each and every occupation in society does. The child learns their own way through becoming that role!
Becoming Another Person
The amount of creativity poured into role playing games is incredible. Games like Dungeons & Dragons put teens and youths into fantastical situations that can be related to the real world. Adolescents playing this game develop necessary skills like leadership and camaraderie, helping them in challenges they’ll face every day as they grow in today’s society.
Ultimately, there are few if any observable drawbacks to role playing games on youths and teens alike. The dominant effects it has seem to be an increase in confidence, skills, and helping them to learn about the world around them. Role playing might be the most valuable resource for your child’s mental development.