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Imagine a world where playing cards were a symbol of social chaos. It sounds impossible for something as innocent as a game of Rummy to be considered a menace to society but that was the case in the 1950s. In fact, in 1956, a study into whether the popularity of card playing evidenced, “proof of a moral debilitation of the structure of American society,” was so important that it saw publication in the American Sociological Review. This study’s actual conclusion was as follows:
“The great majority of card players, in opposition to popular misconceptions, play cards because they have discovered it to be an enjoyable and relaxing way of being together with friends and families.”
Today, the pastime of people enjoying a card game is considered a simple one. As it turns out that perception, is just as wrong as the 1950s perception of playing card games being a sign of immorality. That’s because playing card games is much more than simple, it’s beneficial. The Australian & New Zealand Mental Health Association, and many other organizations, have highlighted in recent years that card playing has both psychological and sociological benefits. This applies to people of all ages, children to the elderly. Psychology Today highlights card games, such as Crazy Eights, can teach vital social skills to people aged five and up. In recent years, one of the most impressive studies into card games came from the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center of one of the world’s top colleges, University of Wisconsin-Madison. This study discovered that people who play cards remain rationally sharp in older age. Specifically, they stated that, “participants who engaged in cognitive activities like card games have higher brain volume, in specific regions, compared to peers who played fewer or no games.”
Perhaps the greatest evidence of the social benefit of card playing comes not from studies, but from human experiences during the pandemic.
“Pre-covid, people were on their digits, their phones, their computers all the time. And through covid, there was this real need to disconnect and reconnect physically. And so, what’s happening is, it’s amazing, people are playing cards around the world more than ever.” said Tricia Bouras, President & CEO of United States Playing Card Company, on Lifetime’s talk show “The Balancing Act.”
The number of people turned to playing with cards to bond with one another during the pandemic. In fact, according to our research, 68% of Americans played card games in 2021 alone. So why is card playing so popular today, when, pre-covid, people were spending more time on phones and other devices? The answer lies in the escape and bonding experience that comes from playing cards with a community of people, especially in times of crisis. It all started when the 2020 lockdowns forced everyone to stay home. With more free time at home, families and others who had to remain quarantined with one another began to turn to cards in greater numbers than ever before. It turns out card playing had a major positive effect during a trying time. Research conducted in May 2020, discovered that 77% of men and 80% of women stated that they were finding card games enjoyable. A major reason for this was the ability of card games to let people connect with one another and focus on something that was engaging but, on the surface, had no major consequences. On a deeper level, these card-playing activities had a major impact. They acted as important social rituals, where people had the time to talk, unwind and share their thoughts in a relaxed setting.
“Game night. It’s a real thing … People plan it. They have people come over. It’s organized. They play different games.” said Tricia Bouras, President & CEO of United States Playing Card Company, on Lifetime’s talk show “The Balancing Act.”
Then, in 2021 and into the present day, people who no longer had to socially distance themselves from others found they wanted to bring card playing with them. In essence, what had been a bonding exercise during lockdown became a mechanism for reintegrating with others. The result was this: In 2021, game night came back with a vengeance. Luckily, the US Playing Card Company’s brands have been there along the way to ensure that game night was more fun than ever before.
“Socializers? It’s us. Right. It’s people that love to play, love to play games, card games … It’s all about making memories.” said Tricia Bouras, President & CEO of United States Playing Card Company, on Lifetime’s talk show “The Balancing Act.”
In 2022, to ensure that people all over the world continue to enjoy and appreciate game nights, we’re launching several special new card games that are incredibly fun to play. They’re also perfect for letting others experience social and mental benefits. Some of them will evoke the nostalgia of childhood games. Others will challenge tried and tested card players in entirely new ways.
“We are uniquely integrated into game night. We’re really excited. This fall, we’re bringing out a couple new games, perfect for game night. Perfect for socializers. Perfect for anyone that loves to play card games. These are just a few of them … PokeNo, this is, it’s about, poker and bingo combined. This game [Nertz] it’s basically speed solitaire. You can play it with up to 32 people. So much fun. And a couple others.” said Tricia Bouras, President & CEO of United States Playing Card Company, on Lifetime’s talk show “The Balancing Act.”
All that’s left, as the days grow shorter and get colder, is to organize the next game night and make memories with friends and family that will last forever!