apps, software and internet

How to incorporate play into every day and why it’s so important

As adults, we don’t often think about playing, either alone, with friends or with strangers. When we’re younger, it was encouraged almost constantly but for some reason, once we reached adulthood, it was shelved as an activity no longer needed.

Recent research has shown that play should be a lifelong activity as it improves physical health, mental wellbeing and social connections. So, if you find yourself at a loss for how-to-play questions these days, take a look over the suggestions below and you may find your new favorite pastime along the way.

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Video games

Once looked down upon as being immature and a waste of time, the reputation of video games has shifted in recent years. They are now viewed as a legitimate and healthy way to relax, socialise, play and even learn.

While gaming was once restricted to expensive consoles and PCs, in recent years it has opened out to include many different platforms. The most significant shift has been the introduction of online gaming, available through PCs, smart phones, tablets and consoles, as well.

The online elements of AAA titles such as “Call of Duty,” “Animal Crossing” and “The Last of Us” are not vital to gameplay but they do greatly enhance the experience. However, some games are only accessible through the internet including a whole range of genres from classic table games to battle royales to RPGs to puzzle games.

The question here is how to find a decent game to play offered through a trustworthy and customer-friendly provider. You could seek out a recognizable name like “PUBG Mobile” or “Candy Crush.”

Another option is to use a reliable review site like Steam Reviews or Vegas Slots Online. Websites like this do all the hard work so that players don’t have to. They assess the security status of online casinos and gaming platforms, test software across a variety of different devices, and even contact customer support to check that they’re up to scratch. By using one of the casinos or other games platforms recommended by an online review service, players can concentrate on the most important thing: enjoying themselves!

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Board games and puzzles

Despite the increased availability of video games, there has been a recent resurgence of interest in offline gaming too, with traditional formats like jigsaw puzzles, board games and card games rising in popularity again. These types of activities are particularly attractive to people who prefer a more tactile experience or who may not have consistent access to a good internet connection.

Completing a suitably complex jigsaw puzzle together with your partner on the kitchen table or gathering a group of friends round for a card game like “Uno,” “Cards Against Humanity” or even something more complex like “Magic: The Gathering” is supremely satisfying. Alternatively, for in-person group hang-outs, you can’t go far wrong with a tried and tested board game.

This doesn’t necessarily have to mean an old classic like “Monopoly,” “Clue” or “Ludo” although these titles still hold up. However, newer games such as “Ticket to Ride,” “Wavelength” and “Catan” often have a bit more to get your teeth into and can provide hours of fun even for the inexperienced board game novice. People are such big fans of board games, in fact, that all sorts of online forums, social networks and wikis have sprung up on the internet, marrying both the worlds of both online and offline gaming admirably.

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Craft activities

Moving on from gaming all together, there is still plenty of play to be found in other activities. Crafting, too, is experiencing a renaissance in the 21st century as people rediscover their passion for creating, making and designing. This could mean ordering a cross stitch kit from a local sewing supply shop in order to stitch along to a predetermined design or it could mean formulating an original knitting pattern. It all depends on each individual’s level of expertise and confidence.

Thankfully, there are many groups, both online and in-person, that offer a safe space for people to learn or relearn a craft, whether that be embroidery, darning socks, crocheting blankets or baking basic cakes and cookies. Of course, both cooking and baking can be considered crafting activities as well, and the necessary combination of creativity and fun is a great way to play for all ages.

It’s also a useful life skill, and something that can be utilized in plenty of different situations outside of playtime. The key to playing and having fun even within an activity previously earmarked as useful or necessary is to slow down, relax, give things a try, remain light-hearted throughout and not take anything too seriously. 

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Conclusion

At the end of the day, play could be looked upon as something frivolous, unnecessary and even indulgent in a world where we are all trying to balance work, family, friends, exercise, diet and one hundred and one other things on a daily basis. However, introducing play as a regular practice can have just as many benefits as other lauded activities like mindfulness, yoga and meditation. After all, play is how all of us learned important life lessons in our youth, so perhaps the same still applies today. There’s no harm in giving it a go!

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