The importance of play

We’ve previously introduced you to Playful Intelligence, the theme of GFHEU19. Over the course of the next few months, we want to explore this theme together. We will start off by taking a few steps back and looking at the theme of play.
A recent article in the Guardian asks: if play is the beginning of all knowledge, why do adults leave it behind? It provides a great starting point to this journey by underlining the importance of play.
“By playing, children discover the world around them and how it operates, how things work and the way people function. Children develop language skills, learn how to cooperate with others, discover emotional intelligence and how to think creatively as well as find solutions to problems”
However, the article also states that the benefits of play are not limited to children. Even for adults, the creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect, but by the play instinct. Despite the fact that this could make quite a difference in the way we approach care and healthcare, play is often overlooked. On the other hand, the ways that technologies are changing healthcare are well documented. Because of this we would like to present you with 5 proven benefits of play.
  • Play is essential for healthy brain development.
  • Play reduces obesity and associated diseases.
  • Play helps children manage stress and even recover from trauma.
  • Play helps families to bond.
  • Play contributes to academic skills.
In addition to this, video games could be used to boost empathy and gamification provides a lot of benefits as well. So, why do we stop playing anyway? After all: “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”
Later this week we will be looking at the difference between gamification and serious games. In the meantime, we would love to hear your examples of games and play in the healthcare industry.