We all know that an important part of childhood is play, and we encourage our children to get involved in imaginative games almost before they can talk. But many of us tend to believe that games aren’t so important for adults. Instead playing is viewed as something superfluous, an activity that takes up valuable time when we could be doing something ‘useful’.
This might be true if you sat and played on the Xbox all day long, neglecting your work and forgetting about keeping the house in order and putting meals on the table. But a little bit of playtime can be good for adults. Not only does it give you a break from the daily grind, but some games can also help stimulate your mental agility, we all remember those ‘Brain’ games for the DS right? If you are anything like me you have to have something on the go in the evenings even if the telly is still going in the back round. For me, I love to crochet and knit, something that I can do maybe while I loosely watch a film or programme I have recorded. Lately I have seen a lot of people online trying out the adult colouring craze that is going around ( I admit I do have one myself which I use when I am listening to my audio books before bed). I know some people love the word games that you can get on your phone, my son loves the logo one he has on there or even bingo either as a board game, a phone app or online. All these things just help a little to keep our brains active and give us a little escapism from the hum drum of daily life.
Obviously now though a lot of games are available online as most people have their phones in use wherever they are, most homes have tablets or laptops especially if you have kids you may even have several of these around the place ( I know we have!). Of course, now we all have mobile internet and broadband at home, the gaming options we have open to us are endless. But if you’re interested in a game that is fun and amusing, while also giving your brain a boost, try one of these:
Bingo has been hailed as a game that encourages mental stimulation for some years. Research has shown that regular bingo players scored more highly in mental agility exercises than their non-bingo playing counterparts. Apparently it’s something to do with the time constraint in a game of bingo that makes it a more of a brain-boosting game than backgammon, for example. Today, many of us play bingo online at sites like bgo, Comfy Bingo or Tidy Bingo, where the focus is more on relaxation and socialising than having a mental workout. That’s because when you play online bingo games at bgo.com, for example, there’s an auto-daub function which means the software marks matching numbers for the player, rather than them having to keep track of the calls themselves. However, if you want that brain workout when you play online, you can opt to mark your cards manually.
Word-based games are another category of game that are good for your grey matter. There are so many online word games available today, and you don’t need anyone to play with. Many of the gaming apps that are similar to the game of Scrabble find you opponents online or you can play against the software. Every time you play a word game, you’re gaining new words in your vocabulary and testing yourself to find the best scoring word. And the great thing is that you don’t have to set aside an hour or more to play. Most of the games like WordFeud will notify you when it’s your turn. A game can go on for days, but only require your attention for a few minutes at a time.
Even action-shooter games have been shown to offer some benefits to their players. Although they’re often dismissed as being a waste of time, they require hand-eye coordination and accuracy, which can translate to other aspects of life. In an Iowa University study, a group of surgeons were observed during their work and those who played action video games on a regular basis were shown to be more accurate and quicker in surgery than their non-playing counterparts.
Aside from the specific benefits that different games can bring, there’s always the overall benefit of playing a game. It gives you a chance to de-stress and put your worries and problems to one side, while you focus on something different. That’s something that has to be good for everyone every once in a while.
For me I love to keep my mind active, I do spend a lot of time at home and therefore it would be easy to fall into a trap of just sitting watching telly, however I do like to ‘achieve’ each day be it a lovely home cooked dinner, a finished crochet or machine sewn item or some blogging in my case!
What do you like to do to keep your mind active?