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Asmodee to support thesis studying cognitive effects of board gaming

Published on: 4th December 2020

Asmodee Research was initially unveiled two years ago before launching an appeal in 2019 for candidates for whom it could finance a thesis based on board games.

Asmodee Group, the parent company of Asmodee UK, has announced the first thesis project supported by its Asmodee Research division, as it explores the impact of playing board games on cognitive functional development.

In an effort to promote better understanding of the effects of play on adults and adolescents and its potential applications, Asmodee Research was initially unveiled two years ago before launching an appeal in 2019 for candidates with whom it could finance a thesis based on board games.

That will now come to fruition in a three-year project led by Léa Martinez at the University of Poitiers’ Research Centre on Condition and Learning.

The project will focus on three key aspects:

  1. Firstly, examining the effects of playing board games on executive functions, initially among adults before expanding to apply a developmental approach to adolescents in the second phase.
  2. Secondly, determining the psychological factors that underlie the relationship between board games, executive functions and educational achievement. This represents the first time that any cognitive psychology studies have explored the mechanics of playing and the fun factor of games in this way.
  3. Thirdly, exploring whether digital board games have the same impact as analogue ones, by comparing the influence of specific games with their digitally adapted counterparts.

The overall aim of the thesis project is to provide recommendations of board games which are beneficial not only to the players’ personal experiences but also to their cognitive development and daily learning, with results that may be used beyond the scientific sphere.

Stéphane Carville, CEO of the Asmodee Group, said: “These past few months have proved the impact and the social role of board games, beyond just being fun. They have enabled us all to play together, in the comfort and safety of our homes, providing some relief, adventure and pleasure. We are convinced that playing games harbours greater potential and can play a truly educational and developmental role in our society. Through Asmodee Research, we intend to demonstrate that and are delighted to support this first thesis which we hope will prove useful.”

Head of Asmodee research, Mikaël Le Bourhis, added: “Two years ago, at the launch of the programme, we made promises and announced our ambitions. This first thesis represents a tangible expression of our commitment to fulfil our engagements.”

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