Want to keep your mind sharp as you age? Learning new skills directly impacts the quality of life for many older adults, especially those of us with a higher education level. We often become lifelong learners and enjoy being mentally stimulated by new experiences. Research has shown that playing video games is a good way to do just that. According to Frontiers in Medicine,
There is increasingly strong evidence that online video games have beneficial cognitive effects in older adults. For instance, video game training improves several aspects of cognitive functioning, such as reaction time, memory, and attention span, as well as general cognitive control and multitasking (*).
As we age the area of the brain that is crucial for memory, the hippocampus, naturally starts to shrink putting us at risk of conditions like dementia. Research has shown that playing problem-solving games can help fight against shrinkage and keep our minds sharp.
Here are the four types of online games that I enjoy playing the most.
I have loved word games since I was a child and played Scrabble with my mother. On my Kindle, I have a crossword puzzle game as well as a word search app. I recently discovered an old-school game called Wordmeister Letter Tile Word Spelling Game it is similar to Scrabble that I can play on my laptop.
I love the challenge of a good puzzle. Spending time trying to figure out how things go together develops new learning experiences which build new brain cells. The more challenging the more brain cells we are building. I found a really challenging game called Mystic Numbers. Not only is this game a puzzle but it is a math puzzle game a real challenge to me.
My favorite strategy games are the old-school basics like Chess. One of my favorite game sites, Plays.org, has seven different kinds of chess games not to mention an entire section devoted to arcade classics. Nothing like spending an afternoon lost in a game of Tetra Blocks or playing some old-school online games just like we had back on our Atari systems.
Memory games can be as basic as matching games or as challenging as an adventure through a land where you have to find hidden objects. These are the games my granddaughter and I like to play together. She’s in first grade and she loves sending me links to games she discovers that I might like that we can play together.
I enjoy playing video games for the challenge it provides me, as well as, the ability to interact with others and to relieve some stress. I find that the old-school online video games are some of my favorite. There are many games out there, you just have to find the ones that interest you, whether it be games on Facebook, apps on your phone, or maybe you want to go all in and get an Xbox and play Call of Duty or Zelda. It doesn’t matter which game you choose as long as you are stimulating your brain and having fun.