The musings of an academic geek yogi
When someone is wronged in a relationship the communication between the people involved becomes strained. Conversely, conflict can provide an opportunity for growth. This idea is supported by the academic field known as The dark side of interpersonal communication. The dark side first introduced in the mid-1990’s provides a theoretical framework for understanding that there is a duality to communication and argues that some evil or darkness can help ignite a deeper investigation of communication processes. Even editors of anthologies on the subject would agree there is not clear definition of the darkside they posit that a dialectic approach moves studies away from stagnant communication and looks at the possibility that strong interpersonal communication can be misused.
This talk contends that when something bad happens in interaction in a relationship that positive communication, like board games, can counter that damage. The three things that help darkness into the light are trust, play and time.
Is seems juvenile to some to suggest that gaming accelerates the growth of trust. However, they are a powerful interface for couples in crisis because they provide the participants with clear rules, and boundaries. For example, many couples working through problems choose to take time apart but games give them a chance to be close together.
Strong communication is not just about words and nonverbal communication encompasses many things but overall refers to ways that we share information without words. In particular Proxemics has to do with nonverbal communication related our own personal space. Edward Hall talked about how we communicate ideas and feelings through our physical space. The closer we are to a person the stronger the relationship. Gaming allows adversaries to be close contact within the safety of a specified task.
My hubs is a math teacher and he loves puzzles and rules but riddles and brain teasers are not what has drawn me to games. For me it is all about the fantasy. The idea that you can be someone else, have super powers, save the world all within less than a three-hour time frame. People try board games and then keep going back because this simple truth is that as human creatures we love to play.
Many interventions for couples in crisis relate back to an investment in time. In a society that values instant gratification the process of assembling and partaking in games in not always alluring. However, choosing to participate in recreational games slows down the social engagement process. When people give themselves over to the world of play without aggressively monitoring time and rushing the process is when they find joy and their way back to a partner; In this way games give time instead of taking time away from a couple.