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We all enjoy playing games, young and old – its fun.  I still remember how I enjoyed playing “Diketo” or “Upuca” and “Morabaraba” as a young girl.  These are historical and indigenous games in South Africa, which promoted social cohesion among different cultures. As I grew up I developed an interest in playing Chess, and I never stopped playing the game.  I turn to it whenever I experience a problem which requires a clear mind.

We all find different things to be fun, and gaming is one of them. Playing games boost your mood, there’s a lot of excitement when playing games. It relaxes and rejuvenate your mind, and develop your enthusiasm. The more challenging the game, the more you want to continue playing.


Diketo is similar to Jacks, it requires good hand-eye coordination, and usually played by young girls.  The player throws a stone into the air and then tries to grab the required number of stones in or out of the circle before catching it again with the same hand.  If the player doesn’t catch the stone, it is the next player’s turn. 


Morabaraba is a strategy board game which can be played by two people.  It’s easy to learn and accessible to adults and kids.  It involves manoeuvring of tokens, referred to as cows, around the board.  A cow is a symbol of wealth.  This is a mathematic game, helping kids to learn how to count, add and subtract.


Video games are electronic games that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a two or three dimensional video display device such as a TV screen, virtual reality headset or computer monitor.


Chess is one of the best sports to exercise the brain. It’s a widely played game all over the world. Playing Chess helps you mentally alert. It stimulates the growth of dendrites, the bodies that send out signals from the brain’s neuron cells, thus neural communication within the brain improves and become faster.

Chess exercises both sides of the brain, both left and right hemisphere of the brain become highly active. It sparks your creativity, since it activates the right side of the brain. Most people believe that this is a game played by intelligent and successful people. That is not the case, but the truth is that playing Chess forces you to think. There’s a scientific study that has shown that playing Chess can raise a person’s IQ. It is important to give your brain a workout, as it is the case with your body. As we grow older we tend to suffer from memory loss, which is the sign of dementia. Playing Chess reduces the chances of developing dementia.

Chess requires fast thinking, and therefore increase your problem solving skills. Playing chess also requires strategic and critical thinking, thus help promote frontal cortex development and help teenagers make better and informed decisions in all areas of life, preventing them from making irresponsible and risky choices. So if you are a parent you must consider to introduce or encourage your children, and entire family to play the game, if you not playing it already. You may save yourselves from a lot of crisis.

When playing the game you need to have good memory to remember all the complex rules and avoid repeating your mistakes. Playing Chess therefore improves your reading skills and optimize memory improvement. The mental effort required to play the game can improve cognitive and communication skills. Playing Chess can also stimulate deep concentration and calm, and relieve anxiety.


This is the best way to practice playing the game. Playing Chess against the computer allows you to learn all the rules, and strategic thinking. You can set levels from the beginner to grandmaster. You can use a hint or move back if you get stuck. You begin to think fast, and learn all the tactics required when you play games with human players.


There are three motivation components of playing games, the achievement component, social component, and immersion component.  Playing games also promote teamwork, and independence.


You learn the rules and system of the game, with the aim to advance in the game and compete with others.  I would say this is the rule, maybe norm, of life gaming teaches you.  If you’re not willing to learn and abide by the rules, you will always find it difficult to progress and advance in career or life in general.  You cannot compete in areas where you lack competence.  Applying this rule in your daily life can help solve a lot of problems, leading to living a good life.


Playing games enhance social cohesion.  Being alone and lonely can cause stress and depression.  Attachment is important to all of us, we need to belong to a structure, group or society.  Through playing games you form connections with others, share thoughts and stories, help others or helped by others, and become part of the group.


When playing games you are in a completely focused mental state, and completely forget about your worries.  Hence some people play games to escape from real life.  You may develop a completely different mindset, and perceive your problems differently after playing the game.


Team working can be a challenge yet vital for the success of every organization, including marriage.  You can learn cooperation, and working together as a team through playing games. You help and support each other in order to win.  Helping and supporting each other is critical for a successful marriage, families, business or society.  Where there’s team work there’s peace and stability.


Independence is one of the characteristics of a confident and successful person.  Playing games promote self-reliance, which can help achieve your goal as it ease planning, and gives assurance about the results.  You become confident, and help others.  Self-reliance reduces the risk of depression, which may be triggered by disappointments. Gaming is autonomous, you play when you like, and the way you like. 



  1. I guess I never saw playing a game as a stress management thing. But I will admit that every time I feel stress playing any game takes my mind off the issue. I will focus on the game and for the whole time I am playing and even after the game, my mind will be in peace. So, I can see how it can be a stress management technique. But I think the game must also be close by.


    1. Read the article further to learn about the health benefits of playing games.  Think of gaming like giving your mind a workout.  Companies who are committed to their employees wellbeing use this technique to help those who show signs of burnout. 

      Read more.

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