Classic card games endure as a popular pastime for some people. In this day and age of computers and video games, what makes an old fashioned game of Gin or Spades appealing? Is it simply a factor of age – those of us who are old enough to predate computer games are the only ones who still think playing cards is fun? I don’t think so, because anyone I teach a card game to, young or old, enjoys the activity and willingly plays again the next time.
Tried and true motivators such as challenge, competition, and cooperation are just as valid today as they were just a couple of decades ago when computer games were still a novelty enjoyed by few.
The uncertain outcome of every card game (assuming no one cheats) makes each game new, unpredictable, challenging, and fun. Team games build relationships and a sense of community and give the players an opportunity to connect with one another. Card games foster competition, and allow each player to move up the “Flow Channel” and increase the challenge level as the game becomes boring, as well as increase the skill level when the game is too challenging (see Conditions of Flow, p. 71).