Recreational games are activities of varied nature carried out by an individual or a group of people with the aim of having fun, being entertained and enjoying the activity itself. Thus, it is about playful activities, without an established useful or practical purpose, but that exercises and satisfies physical, social and mental aspects of the personality. For example: chess, STOP, video games.
To be linked to leisure and suspension of productivity and daily demands, these games are part of the stress-fighting mechanisms for adults, the training of the little ones and the integration of groups of people who want or need to get to know each other better.
In this they differ from the sports: although the practice of some sports discipline can serve as recreation, they generally require perseverance, dedication and tools that are far from the spontaneity of recreational play.
Types of recreational game
We can identify three forms of recreational games, according to their specific characteristics:
- Traditional games: these are dynamics inherited and transmitted from generation to generation, generally involving the use of the body and elements of nature, since they have little variation over time. They may be linked to certain specific cultures, as well as to the values of a community or local history.
- Popular games: these types of activities are carried out massively and tend to the novelty, the fashionable or the requirements and possibilities of the moment. Its regulations and conditions are usually varied and changing, adapting to the idiosyncrasy of those who practice it, but at the same time without emphasizing their specific culture. They are often used in schools and institutes as a pedagogical mechanism.
- Indigenous games: these recreational activities are similar to traditional ones, with the difference that their rules and procedures vary over time, changing according to the concept of fun that individuals have and losing or gaining elements in the process. The result is that contemporary versions can differ significantly from their original versions, to the point of constituting entirely different games.
Examples of arcade games
- Domino: this traditional game requires twenty-eight rectangular white or black marble tiles with various points marked on their ends, so that each one has a number from 1 to 6 assigned to each end. The tiles are placed face down and shuffled, then shared between 2 or 4 players, until each player has seven. The rules of the game vary according to the region, but the task of the game is usually to run out of tiles before the others, playing one in turn forming a chain with the others, matching similar numbers.
- The tied up: this game requires a large group to play. A chosen one stands with his back to the group while the others firmly hold hands forming a chain. Then the pointers of the chain must move between the links without loosening or breaking the chain, until they become tied or entangled. Then the chosen one must turn around and try to untie the chain without breaking it.
- The “stain”: known by many names throughout the world, this is the classic game of chase in which an individual must run after another or others until they reach them, and then change positions. It is a classic children’s game that, however, is widely practiced among adult athletes, as it promotes physical resistance and speed.
- Stop: to play STOP, paper and pencils are required, as well as two or more players. Each one will have a pencil and paper, in which they will draw a series of columns to be agreed upon: the first will necessarily be for the letters of the game, and the following for color, brand, animal, country and other categories that the players agree on. Once the sheet is ready, they will take turns choosing a letter of the alphabet and they must write in each column a name of country, color, brand, etc. that start with that letter. When a player completes all the lines, he will say “STOP” out loud and no one else can write on his sheet. Then the winner’s words will be read, and for each one you will get 100 points or 50 points if some other player managed to write it too.
- The doggy: this game requires a ball of some nature. There must be at least three players: two at the ends of the playing space and one in the center. The players at the ends must throw the ball to each other avoiding that the player in the middle (who acts as a “puppy”) reaches it. If at any time the puppy gets hold of the ball, the responsible player will move to the middle and the game will restart.
- Chess: more than a game, a playful sport widely practiced in various regions of the world. It is a set of 32 black and white pieces, each one sculpted according to an army: pawns, rooks, knights, bishops, queen and king. Each piece has its own rules for moving and eliminating the other, and the task of the game is to reduce the enemy army until it has access to the opposing king and corner it until there are no possible moves. It is one of the great games of humanity.
- Video game: a purely contemporary activity, the result of the rise of computing at the end of the 20th century, comes to our days with a vast range of consoles for leisure and recreation. Much has been discussed about video games, since on the one hand they stimulate the speed of reaction, but on the other they alienate and hinder social relations. In this sense, the creation of collective and group video games has been encouraged.
- Mime: this game requires multiple participants, organized into two sides of the same number. A game topic (movie names, for example) will be chosen, and each side will assign a member of the other a secretly chosen name. Then the chosen member must try to guide his team through mime, without saying a single word, until they guess the secret message. You will have one minute to do this. The team that achieves it adds a point and restarts.
- Lemon, half a lemon: this game is played in a group, assigning each member a number starting from one. It is randomly chosen who starts and that person must say “A lemon, half a lemon” and then a number of lemons within the numbers assigned to the players. Whoever takes the turn (for example, if he says “a lemon, half a lemon, three lemons”, it will be player number three) will repeat the formula varying the last number of lemons and will try to do it faster and faster. Whoever makes a mistake or doubts in the repetition of the chorus will lose and will fulfill a penance imposed by the group and the game will resume its course.
- Tic-Tac-Toe: another classic game that has multiple names throughout the world. A numeral (#) is drawn on a piece of paper and two players face each other, assigning an X (x) or a circle (o) to each possible box, one in turn. The task is to draw three in a straight line. If someone succeeds, a point is added and the numeral is traced again, so on.