Eurogames as cognitive exercise

practising learning in a feedback-rich environment

Practising a growth mindset

The process of learning a board game is a potent tool for practising your growth mindset. In a short amount of time, you can start with fixed mindset symptoms, such as:
and achieve a growth mindset result:

Why board games?

Board games (especially Euro-style games, see "Categories of Games," below) are particularly good for cognitive training and practising the growth mindset because they provide clear feedback, they tend to be fun little laboratories for cognitive development (each game tends to be its own discrete mathematics-based world) instead of being oriented towards escapism, and they encourage thinking about other players' motivations and perspectives.

As a result of practising a growth mindset with board games:

How to practise

In order to practise the learning process with a board game,
  1. pick a game that isn't too long to play (10 to 60 minutes). See "Categories of Games," below.
  2. practise in an environment that makes it easy to learn from mistakes, such as a friend who already knows the game, or a computerised platform that enforces the game rules
  3. don't practise too much at once: spaced learning is more effective. You will learn much better if you try the game every week, instead of trying over and over again on the same day.
  4. practise for a half an hour a couple times a week. Just let the learning happen over time. Look back on your progress every couple weeks to remind yourself of how fast learning and practice can pay off.
  5. the cognitive benefits of mastering one game have diminishing returns. You'll develop faster by challenging yourself with learning new games instead of investing yourself in one game. Remember, the goal isn't to learn the game itself — it's to learn about your learning process, about thinking in new ways, and about various cognitive skills that are practised within each specific game, such as resource management, planning, risk management, and thinking about other people's perspectives.

Categories of games

For the purposes of these learning exercises, the following categories will be helpful: