Chess has been around for over 1,400 years but it is still widely played today
The brain is a vital organ and arguably the most critical one in the human body. Therefore, we must do everything we can to keep it sharp and alert. Things like maintaining consistent social connections, eating a nutritious diet, and getting sufficient exercise are some of the things that people can do to serve this purpose. But did you know that there are some brain-boosting games? The next time you have a group game night planned or simply want to kick back and relax with a friend, play a game or two from the list below.
If you’re a chess player, you may already be aware of the significant benefits consistent play can have on the mind. The two-player board game encourages participants to actively think throughout, constantly considering their next best move in light of an opponent’s position. This in turn increases a person’s creative output, utilizing both sides of the brain to come to a final decision. Additionally, chess strengthens the hippocampus or the part of the brain that is in charge of learning and memory. If chess seems like an outdated game to you, think again! Although it has roots in ancient Persia, today it populates the virtual environment, with many opportunities to play online against a bot or even another real human player in exciting tournaments.
Poker is a game that is equal parts entertaining and brain-boosting. Able to be played with as many as 14 people, the classic strategic card game shares qualities with chess in that every member of the table must use their entire brain to concentrate on each move as it happens in real-time. In fact, one eye off the table or a second of inattention could mean the difference between a winning strategy and a losing one. Like chess, poker is also a game of rich history, spanning over 1,000 years and several different continents and cultures. The online poker boom of the 2000s brought the game into the mainstream digital scene and ever since then the virtual poker world has exploded. This has led to the creation of a handful of different versions aside from the popular Texas Hold ‘em. However, regardless of the type of poker you enjoy most, each version requires players to think critically and hold their attention, two great practices for brain health. Poker is also considered to be one of the best games to manage stress for students.
If you enjoy puzzle-type games, there’s no doubt you’re a fan of sudoku. The ultimate objective of this logic-based grid-style game is to fill a 9×9 grid strategically so that every column and row contains the digits from 1-9 only once. Based on the player’s skill level and experience, this can be completed in less than two minutes, or sometimes over thirty. However, no matter how long a sudoku level takes, simply by participating the player is exercising their problem-solving skills from start to finish. This boosts cognitive thinking by allowing people to fully exploit their brainpower. And it isn’t just a solo activity. Nowadays, there are places online where users can engage in multiplayer sudoku challenges, competing with friends or other virtual players at easy-difficult levels. Sudoku is a quick and entertaining way to stretch those brain muscles while still having a bit of gaming fun.
Shooting games like Call of Duty can actually improve spatial reasoning and decision making
You may be wondering what FPS games are doing on this list, but to many people’s surprise, these games can help people to focus and multi-task better as well as improve hand-eye coordination. They also strengthen spatial skills, or the ability to visualize objects from a host of different perspectives and estimate distances and measurements. Not to mention this is one of the fastest-paced, fun, and immersive genres in the gaming world. Keep in mind, a proper gaming keyboard can help with your shooting accuracy while playing FPS titles, so it may be worth investing in a new one if your current equipment is out of date.