How much time do you spend browsing the Internet on a daily basis? Believe it or not, the average individual will devote between three and four hours each day towards some form of online entertainment. Whether relaxing after a long day at work or speaking with friends located hundreds of miles away, there is no doubt that the digital community offers a host of options. However, were you aware that there are many ways in which your mind can benefit from these very same sessions?
Many studies have found that online gaming can help to increase mental alertness and focus when played on a regular basis. Let us first take a quick look at why this is the case before moving on to discuss some of the most effective categories to consider.
The Relationship Between Games and Mental Acuity
The majority of online games are primarily intended to provide a temporary form of entertainment. Of course, this is also their primary appeal. They offer a sense of stimulation and as a result, many individuals will participate in order to “decompress” and to take a step back from daily life.
However, games are also heavily rooted in human development; particularly in reference to infants and toddlers. Games help us to learn about the outside world and are used to teach basic motor skills. This is why it should come as no surprise that adults are just as attracted to these pastimes. Having said this, the brain enjoys challenges and it tends to become better at new tasks if they are practiced on a regular basis (such as when taking piano lessons). Games will therefore have a beneficial effect upon alertness and ultimately, the ways in which we process novel information.
These are some of the main reasons why teachers will often employ games and similarly fun activities when reinforcing information that has recently been learned. So, what types of online games can provide you with discrete mental benefits? Let us quickly examine some popular categories.
Online casinos have become immensely popular thanks to the sheer variety of games that they have to offer. Many of these can also provide an additional source of income, so it makes perfect sense that the number of members has dramatically increased in recent times. Some of these very same games are able to offer intuitive benefits.
For instance, a website which offers a video slots arcade platform can be used to hone one’s decision-making capabilities. Blackjack may be employed by those who are good with numbers and enjoy mathematical challenges. Poker is often advantageous in regard to the ways in which players are forced to think two or three steps ahead.
All of these games can be termed as “passive” learning options. As they are highly entertaining, the average player is unaware that he or she is developing specific skill sets. Thus, they are more likely to engage with what is being offered for an extended period of time.
Role-Playing and Strategy-Based Games
Another genre of games instead focuses upon strategy and role playing. Chess is arguably the most well-known example in this case. These games are primarily centered around appreciating how our actions will impact a timeline or a virtual environment. Thus, they represent excellent ways to prepare for the unexpected and to make snap decisions at the appropriate times within a risk-free environment.
It is also interesting to note that many military tacticians will utilize strategy-based games when teaching their subordinates about basic battlefield tactics. In the same respects, some corporate entities will use games as a means to illustrate how a specific action can lead to a desired outcome. Of course, the sheer variety of strategy-based platforms is just as impressive. Here are some other possibilities to highlight:
- MMORPGs (massive multiplayer online role-playing games)
- Crossword puzzles
The good news is that players can choose specific games based on their personal tastes. Thanks to the prevalence of smartphones, it is even possible to enjoy these platforms while out and about; an excellent way to hone your mental skills at a convenient time.
Relatively few players appreciate the mental benefits that online games can provide. The same holds true in regard to the developers themselves. It is still impossible to deny that practice makes perfect and that those who become adept at a specific activity will have developed a new set of skills. From hidden object games to classic table games and everything in between, the advantages are indeed very real.
Keep this in mind the next time you decide to log onto your favorite site or to activate a certain smartphone application. Either way, be sure to leverage the options at your disposal!