Computer games are often given short shrift in the media, with many people dismissing them as time drain or purely leisure pursuits.
However, some can offer some real benefits – especially for older players.
There are a number of computer games on the market that are designed specifically to engage older players and which aim to boost cognitive powers and give your memory a run for its money. Explore the world of computer gaming and discover the games that could have a positive impact on your life.
Boosting your memory
There are a number of cognitive decline associated with aging, including problems with memory, multitasking and attention spans. While these changes are only natural and can prove only a minor inconvenience for the majority of people, you may be interested in finding ways to counteract the effects of aging – such as keeping your mind stimulated. There have been a number of studies in recent years that show specific computer games to offer a range of benefits to older players.
The Guardian has a fascinating video about a brain training game called NeuroRacer and the way it improved short term memory and attention spans in people ages between 60 and 85. More about this amazing study can be found at science journal Nature, which also has several articles examining the links between gaming and brain function. Find out more about the ways games can improve multitasking for older players and understand a little more about the way patterns of brain activity change as cognitive skills such a memory and multitasking improve.
Enjoying gaming as an older adult
If the thought of playing computer games doesn’t appeal, it may be that you’ve just not found the right genre for you yet. There are a huge variety of game styles available, from role playing games that lead you through a story to online versions of crosswords and Sudoku puzzles. Start broadening your horizons by experimenting with a selection of free brain training games available online. You’ll find everything from games designed to improve spatial awareness to those that aim to boost your memory and verbal fluency levels. You’ll also find some interesting information and games to try out at the BBC’s Lab UK, which has a look at the way players need to develop mental strategies to improve their scores.
Spending even just a few hours a week playing suitable games and allowing your mind to be stretched by situations you are not familiar with could have long lasting and very beneficial results. You may not feel the need to run out and buy the latest video games your grandchildren love playing, but by spending a short amount of time brain training online or trough your smartphone or handheld computer, you could open up a lot of new potential. Start experimenting with some fun puzzles and brain teaser at Brain Metrix and see if it encourages you to spread your wings and start enjoying many different ways to boost your mind.
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