Wargames have been around for millennia. As the world became more complex, and specialised, it was no longer sufficient for the son of a ruler to know how to shoot a bow, it became necessary for him to learn how to out think the ruler of the adjacent state and thus the children played strategy games. In today’s society there are enormous benefits to participating in games, even the most basic game offer meta-messages and life skills. All of the games played at Telford Wargames Society (TWS) require that people interact and speak with each other thus developing social skills as the players have to negotiate rules, take turns, correct and challenge each other, thus they are thinking and problem solving all the time.
There is much evidence that through games play, the individual can improve listening and speaking skills, cooperation, self-control, confidence, independence, curiosity, empathy, and communication. Games can foster the ability to focus, and lengthen attention span by encouraging the completion of an exciting, enjoyable game. TWS internalise the rules of fair play with players having to deal with the emotional consequences of these interactions: handling loss, helping a friend to handle a loss, being a gracious winner.
The hobby is multi faceted and includes painting and modelling which goes beyond the social and emotional benefits as it also helps work on motor coordination, both fine motor skills and gross motor skills. The whole wargame experience may be of more value than the product itself.
Those who concern themselves with wargames develop expectations in many ways, from the study of history to the building of complex mathematical models, to the integration of both these approaches within the game. Without question war games shape those expectations, hence they help shape the future as the youngsters of today are the commanders of tomorrow