Banpu introduces “Board Games” Reinforcing well-rounded skills through versatile edutainment
Board games undeniably becomes one of the leisure activities that gain more popularity nowadays, especially among the young generations. They have long been popular in the US and Europe and are attracting more and more players in other countries worldwide. The games have also gained interest in Thailand, though they are not being played extensively. Board games have undergone evolution to cover unlimited range and they were creatively designed to suit players’ different interests and personality traits. As the games are more appealing, the community of players are gradually getting bigger, making board games a big buzz these days.
Those who have played board games would agree that they gained not only joy but underlying lessons and benefits. New game designers and developers create fascinating games based on historical and academic grounds and social thoughts where players benefit from both joy and multi-faceted knowledge. There is no such notion as right or wrong or single standard when playing board games; therefore, players are not bound by any rules allowing them to apply their skills freely without feeling under pressure. Players also get positively influenced and inspired when they overcome obstacles and challenges and achieve success in playing. Moreover, the games foster cognitive development and induce effective learning in other subject areas.
Board games improve both hard skills and soft skills for school-aged youths. To play games, young players must understand the game content. They also need to develop other essential skills for playing – i.e., critical thinking, planning, applying creativity, problem-solving, communication, and negotiation. These soft skills are useful for all age groups. For adults, board games also sharpen players’ hard and soft skills, enabling them to come up with the best solution when handling workplace and everyday challenges.
Recognizing the importance of creative human capital development in the new era of education where knowledge is not confined to the classroom or textbooks, Banpu Public Company Limited, a leading integrated energy solutions company in Asia-Pacific with commitment on sustainable social development, has stepped in to support playing board games on a larger scale. Banpu notes that board games is a learning tool helping develop learners’ cognitive as well as thinking and emotional skills. One requirement for playing board games is that everyone must be present and interact with each other, allowing players to socialize and communicate with others. Equipped with all these skills, young people could become potential adults. Adults who have a well-rounded skill set of both hard and soft skills are more likely to achieve professional success. The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) research pointed out that social and emotional skills will be increasingly critical in the workplace of the future.
Mrs. Udomlux Olarn, Head of Corporate Affairs, Banpu Public Company Limited stated, “board games interestingly stimulates learning, particularly in young people and new generations. Benefits of designing and playing board games are consistent with Banpu’s belief: “Learning is the power of change and development”; therefore, we ran an initiative to introduce and promote a creative use of board games in the Thai society. Banpu has recently realigning our corporate brand and culture to the global trends by encouraging our people to be “passionate, innovative and committed” to everything we do. We think that board games players are supposed to hold all these three attributes in their hearts as well. The joy from playing can be applied to learning, working and many other aspects of life. We really hope that the board game activities that Banpu is going to bring to life would serve as a tool for sustainable community and social mobilization.
Academically, games are incorporated into the learning process, or the so-called “game-based learning”, to encourage more relaxed learning atmosphere, which will bring happiness and entertainment. Various studies by academic institutions and learning and teaching designers both in Thailand and abroad have confirmed the benefits of the board games as a learning and teaching tool enhancing learning capacity and understanding while reducing stress and pressure. Child learners are happier and have better emotional development. Scientific researches also confirm that playing board games stimulates brain, improves memory, and boosts logical and analytical thinking.
Banpu believes that learning via board games fits perfectly with the learning process of new generation learners. It reinforces useful skills for players, especially communication, problem-solving and teamwork skills, which build on an integration of soft skills into hard skills to enhance learning and working potential for innovation to benefit communities and society.
About Banpu Public Company Limited
Banpu is a leading integrated energy solutions company in Asia Pacific, operating businesses in coal, power generation, and integrated energy sectors in ten countries, namely Thailand, Indonesia, China, Australia, Lao PDR, Mongolia, Singapore, Japan, the USA and Vietnam.
“Learning is the Power of Change and Development”
Banpu’s CSR and other social-oriented activities are based on the firm belief that “learning is the power of change and development” for people and society by emphasizing the promotion and development of continued “learning” among young people and communities in a number of ways. Banpu supports sustainable development of communities and society through a variety of learning opportunities for both individuals and teams, ranging from daily real-life experiences both in- and outside the classroom, to hands-on practice that enhances capabilities and skills.