So you want to keep your brain happy and healthy? Why not try playing more games? That’s right, you can actively work towards a healthier brain by simply playing games. Before you go run off to turn on your favorite game and play a mind-numbing session, there are a few factors you need to keep in mind.
Let’s take a look at these major factors that make games good for the brain, so you know if your gaming sessions are helping or hurting your brain.
Strategy is a big factor for gaming, and it’s important when you are trying to find games that are good for brain health. The ability to create specific strategies around set mechanics makes the brain go wild with activity.
Your brain loves getting to think about the uses of mechanics in games. It helps you release those happy chemicals in your brain through achievement-based interactions. When you do well using a strategy you created, you get happy about it.
Think about games like chess. The set structure is a square that is broken down into smaller squares. There are set pieces that can move in set patterns around the board. Those patterns can be improved and even exploited in the right situations.
When you take the time to figure out a solid strategy in chess, you start to think about other ways to evolve your movements. These thoughts and scenarios you run in your head can help your brain stay sharp.
When a game interacts with your memory, it helps you maintain specific brainwaves. The function of your memory needs to be on point to win at these games, and playing them can help you improve them.
Since your brain operates through electric impulses, you need to maintain those impulses. Memory games are one of those categories that specialist like neurogrow.com use for parts of their brain mapping tests.
These games fire of receptors in the brain that might not normally fire as much as you’d like them to. That’s why implementing the aspect of memory into your game is so important.
It can be anything from knowing how many cards someone has in uno to how much gold you need for that next item. Anything that requires you to remember certain aspects to perform better is great for your brain.
Maybe your game takes a bit more than just thinking to execute. Games with controllers or a mouse and keyboard setup tend to take their brain activity to yet another level.
When you have to create a movement and do other actions at the same time, you are working on your multi-tasking. Multi-tasking is another great brain exercise, and when you get other parts of the body involved, it benefits you even more.
Think about the mixtures of movement it takes to play a racing simulator. You have so many things that need to be in sync to make the car go as fast as it can around the track, but you can’t crash.
You have to think about the angle of the car, the level of the throttle, and the limits of the car’s suspension system. If you get all the components right, you go around the corner fast. If you don’t, you’re either too slow and get passed, or you really get it wrong and crash.
The level of thought that goes into playing something like a racing simulator can really help your brain adapt while improving your hand-eye coordination.
Adaptation is another great trait to look for in brain games. If you are forced to change your style to make sure you still beat the game, that’s good. The need to change your thought patterns changes the waves that fire off in your brain.
That means you are exercising different parts of the brain at different times. When you are playing chess, you start to loose piece. That limits what your team can do with the resources at hand. Adapting what you have to what your opponent has is a must at this point, and that means you’re thinking.
Play Games for Your Brain
Playing certain types of games can have a profound effect on your brain. You can help keep your brain sharp and active by playing the right games. Get that mixture of strategy, memory, and adaptation, and your brain will thank you for the time it gets to be in critical thinking mode.
If you are looking for a list of brain games, you can find tons of them in your app store on your phone.