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Don't Fear Play

Games are thought of to be a carefree activity by many people. But some fear the performance aspect of games.

Games, whether a puzzle or sport, can publicly test one's intelligence and physical prowess. However, this performance in front of others can be a source of anxiety. Having to answer questions quickly or make the right move with peers, friends, family, even in a game, does not sound like fun to many.

We have learned to curate sessions that cater to different comfort levels. We don't pressure people by saying "a third-grader completed our puzzle with ease, now you try." Our game sessions can build confidence, increase communication, and provide shared experiences. Instead of generating fear, Barometer’s games turn uncertainty into fun!

Build Confidence: Of course, we all want to win, but games allow you to get used to "losing": practicing trial and error is an essential part of growth. With every loss, you can learn something new. Games can teach new problem-solving skills, offer motivation to improve and provide a nice dose of humility. Overcoming obstacles that you have previously failed at will eventually do wonders for your confidence.

Increase Communication: How many times have seen communication barriers fall while playing games with others? A person you previously hadn’t spoken with is now talking and laughing with you on a regular basis. Games offer the right amount of competition and collaboration to open and increase communication. Games can even be designed to improve non-verbal communication, from drawing a visual or doing a body movement. These different forms of communication can highlight skills or information that was previously unknown or hidden.

Create Shared Experiences: Shared experiences can increase social bonding. We need shared experiences to produce positive mental health outcomes, such as lowering feelings of depression and isolation and creating a sense of belonging. After a few meaningful play sessions, the fear of playing goes away. Who knows...there might even be new and meaningful relationships formed after these experiences.

Though games are great at showing different skillsets, they do not always have to be stressful performative acts that many people fear. That's why we build games that explore the pressure of fear. In a tech-driven world, it can be a challenge to connect with others. Games can be an excellent medium (digital or non-digital) to engage together. The next time you play a game, even if there is a little fear, embrace the moment for learning, growth, and connection.

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