I get a lot of notes from parents and teachers who play cooperative games with their kids. Enough for me to feel like I understand these people and their motivations. These parents and teachers are a special breed. Cooperative games are not traditional and they are not popularized by advertising. As yet, no major commercial game publisher is pushing them. Cooperative games are not the default choice for children’s entertainment in our competitive culture. Instead of emphasizing winning, triumph, and being the best, these games promote peaceful play. Who cares about that?
Here’s what I see: Adults who seek cooperative games want to raise their children to know a gentle way of living. And in learning gentleness, it is hoped that the kids will understand the joys and benefits of being peaceful, respectful, and generous as opposed to aggressive and self-seeking. In growing up with an understanding of peace and collaboration, the kids should acquire the wisdom to choose healthy egalitarian relationships, and eventually, to work effectively with others in their occupations. I also get the sense that cooperative-game-loving adults want to cultivate gentleness in their children to promote more peace in the world at large. Are you one of these adults?
On the other hand, some of the parents and teachers who buy cooperative games aren’t quite so idealistic or reflective in their thinking. They have kids who don’t get along on their hands and they are desperate for solutions! Cooperative games lead to fun not frustration, and getting along together rather than fighting. So many adults are attracted to cooperative games simply because they are at wits’ end dealing with sibling rivalry and competitive classrooms. Maybe you’re here because you need to help with playtime madness, emotional meltdowns, and mean-spirited students. Is this you? If so, welcome! I believe we can help you.
Either way, whether it’s through idealism or frustration with traditional competitive activities, adults buy cooperative games for kids to teach them gentle ways so the kids might go on to create peace in their own lives and well beyond.