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Playing Video Games Keeps Your Mind Sharp

Posted Dec 12 2008 1:28pm
Senior couple playing video game

I like playing video games. There aren’t many people that don’t. Some people don’t like it because they see it as a lazy person’s hobby. I enjoy doing to pass the time when I’m bored but I’m very picky about what kind of games I play. Mainly I like FPS’s or “First Person Shooters”, but I enjoy playing the music based games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band. My son and I can spend some quality time playing Guitar here and talking playful trash to each other. Some other games I like to play is Tetris. Tetris is a timeless classic and keeps me thinking at every turn and I love the challenge and the challenge of others while playing.

A new study says that video games are good to keep the minds of older folks sharp too. Here is an excerpt from an article I found on MSN Health.

The researchers tested the cognitive abilities of 40 people in their 60s and 70s before and after playing the video game “Rise of Nations,” which rewards the complex task of creating a society, including building cities, employing people and expanding territory.

Testing showed that people in the trained group performed better not only on the game but also on tests of memory, reasoning and the ability to identify rotated objects compared to those who were not trained. The results may eventually help older people who are struggling with managing tasks they once found to be simple.

Far too often video games get a bad rap because of violence and glorification of crimes in games such as Grand Theft Auto. I never liked the game myself, but it’s totally understandable that people would get that impression since the game has been covered in the media like the Pitbull of the video game world.

But there are so many brain-games out there that keep your mind moving and solving problems beyond shooting an enemy or trying to dial in a 13 hit combo code. Games like Tetris and Bejeweled just to name a couple, keep you thinking ahead of the next move in an almost multi-tasking manner.

You don’t have to have an expensive game console to play good mind games to stay sharp. There are various online games you can play for free. Yahoo! has an assortment of mind-games that you can play with even a dial-up connection. From word games to puzzles, any game that keeps you thinking and perhaps using education that you may have not used in a long time is a great way to stay sharp and stay young.

Unless you’re in to the world of competitive video gaming, the only reward you may receive from playing video games is self-gratification and some acquired problem solving skills. Beware though…some of these games can be addictive. Some people delve in to the world of online poker. Some do it just for fun and some lose and enormous amount of real money by betting online.

Tags: brain games, Guitar Hero, Mental Health, Rock Band, Sharp Mind, video games

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