Rumour has it that some of you don’t think adults should play games. Are you part of the tribe that only considers poker to be the ultimate adult game? Having been married to a gamer for almost four years, I have finally come to accept that games are not only for kids. In fact, gaming has even become a part of our lives! From the date night snuggles with a controller in hand, to just sitting on the couch mindlessly tapping away. The biggest difference between the two of us is that he is willing to spend a pretty penny on games, but I prefer the free route. I am also more old school and use gaming to stimulate my brain while still finding enjoyment in it. I’m talking Solitaire and such over FIFA.
But wait, before you click away and delete GWS from your reading list, hear me out.
Why gaming is good for the brain
Honestly, I’m quite surprised that I’m writing this post at all, considering that I smirk every time I see my husband touch a controller. But, truth be told, your grandmother’s bingo games may attribute more to her mental sanity than you think. Trust me, I get paid to do puzzles!
As someone who gets paid to find solutions for a living, puzzles are quite an important part of my job. My job is to find the best financial solution for clients by either piecing together different products or creating new ones entirely.
Whether it is physical puzzles, or games that have puzzles embedded in them, I have found that gaming really improves my decision-making skills.
In fact, studies have shown that there is a clear difference between the brain of someone who frequently plays games vs someone who doesn’t. Essentially, gamers have increased brain volume, particularly the cerebral cortex. So not only do you have fun while playing, but you also improve your ability to store, process, and recall information. Talk about a win!
I recently discovered Solitaire.org, which is a gaming site filled with some games I used to play as a kid. The cool thing is that they add a spin of their own. Although their name is ‘Solitaire’, the games aren’t limited to card games. Here are a few that I particularly enjoyed.
This is such a traditional goodie and one that really gets you thinking. Though the site does come with instructions, I must admit that initially, my focus was on trying to remember how to play the game. Call it ego or whatever, I was determined to run through the motions and get a high score on my first try.
What I enjoyed most about this game is that it resembles a puzzle in every way. With everything all muddled up, much like it is in the corporate world, the aim of the game is to sort through the deck of cards and place them in order. Sounds simple enough, but there are many restrictions on the moves you can make. In the corporate world, those restrictions are regulations, internal policies, client limitations, delegated authority, etc.
Cookie Monster Pacman
I personally enjoyed playing Cookie Monster ‘Pac-Man’ because it is such a classic. Well, the Pac-Man aspect of it is anyway. While it doesn’t count so much as a puzzle, it is the ultimate game for trying to reach an end goal while avoiding blockages.
*Cue in big words like ‘bottleneck’ and other corporate jargon*.
I found this to be a difficult one despite how simple the game is. When I was younger, my reaction time was much better than it is now. I’ve also noticed that I am less of a risk-taker as an adult than I was as a kid. So most of the game was spent running away from the monsters instead of trying to catch the fruit. I know, I know, old gal mentality.
The more I played, I figured out how to find the right balance between staying safe and reaching the target. But here’s a secret, I still haven’t found that balance in real life!
Though it is last in chronological order, this was probably my favourite of all the games I tried. Having a competitive gene in my DNA, this ‘golf’ game allowed me to compete against myself as I focused on beating my previous times. In this golf game, the aim is to eliminate the cards as quickly as possible while limiting how many cards you waste. Sounds familiar?
in the corporate world, things like budgets, resources and time are the deck of cards. The less you waste, the more profit the company makes, and the bigger your bonus.
I could write a long-winded conclusion, but the message is best kept simple. Whether your choose to play traditional or more modern and thrilling games, gaming should be a part of your life.
Do you use games to train your mind? What games do you play?
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