King of Tokyo is definitely one of our favorite games due to its simplicity and constant action.
It also has some great potential in terms of developing social skills for 10 year old’s. Empathy is a key social skill that develops during this age and here are some ways that King of Tokyo helps develop the social skill of empathy:
- Perspective Consideration: Since each player controls a character/monster, there is the opportunity to explore distinct abilities and reactions. The variety of different character play helps children better understand how we are all different in many ways. We all have different weaknesses, strengths, abilities, etc. And learning while playing makes the environment fun! The benefit from this is empathy development through understanding various perspectives of others.
- Collaboration: King of Tokyo is a competitive game by design, however, there are opportunities of collaboration where players can choose to work together to team up against a common enemy (in gameplay with more than 2 players). This can be to defeat the other player or to defend against that other player in an agreed upon alliance. This can really benefit children by helping them understand that others have needs as well, and that there can be mutual benefit from alliances.
- Good Sportsmanship: Since the object of the board game King of Tokyo is to have a single winner, it is considered a competitive game. Some players will lose while one player will win. Experiencing both can help define how a 10 year old learns to respond to that fact. One idea to help support this kind of thinking is to understand that it is a game and fun should be had by all regardless of who wins, and to learn to be happy for others when they win, and support them. And to expect that same kind of response from others is a good focus that helps to overall build a sense of fair play and good sportsmanship.
- Emotional Intelligence Development: Due to its fast paced nature of decision making and risk analysis, King of Tokyo can create an emotional experience for children. This creates the opportunity for recognition and self-regulation of their own emotions while observing the emotional response of others playing the game.
For these reasons, King of Tokyo is a great way to explore the social skill of empathy not only for 10 year old’s, but players of all ages!