Let’s face it, as we get older our mind and memory can start to deteriorate. We find ourselves struggling to remember simple things like where we put our keys or the name of a childhood friend. We sometimes feel like the world is moving on without us. The key to maintaining mental sharpness is exercising your brain just like you exercise your body. Playing games is one of the best activities to maintain mental sharpness.
One great way to keep your mind sharp is to play games. They are a great source of entertainment, but also provide stress relief and mental exercise that will help keep your mind agile for years to come. Some of the old standbys are great for this: crossword puzzles, scrabble, solitaire. This is the age of computers and online technology, however, and anyone who embraces that advancement will find an amazing array of games out there for everyone’s taste.
Some of those old standbys come in great video game form that provide hours of challenge and entertainment. If you like word games for instance, you can get an amazing video game version of Scrabble, Boggle, or Crossword Puzzles that you will not be able to stop playing. If word games aren’t your thing there are also video game versions of jigsaw puzzles, card games, Monopoly, Risk, Trivial Pursuit or just about anything else you can think of.
These games don’t have to be expensive either. Assuming you already own a computer and have online service there are any number of games you can play for free. Just type “free games” into any search engine and you’ll get millions of hits. Many sites like bigfishgames.com or gamehouse.com allow you to download a free demo so you can play the game for an hour or so and decide whether you would like to buy it.
One of the most popular types of games today are MMORPG’s (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games). In these games you create a character for yourself and interact with a large number of other people. If this doesn’t sound like something you would enjoy, you should try it, and you might be surprised. A game such as Wizard 101 or Free Realms where you create and control a character that you designed can be a surprisingly attractive pastime. You can control your character as you build a house, buy furniture and clothes, and succeed at quests and games to earn in game money. The mini games and quest challenges in these more involved games are usually a great tool for for maintaining mental sharpness. You can play the mini games, while also pursuing a richer gaming experience involving characters in an online society.
Another positive aspect of online video games is the social connections you can make. If you have children or grandchildren that you wish were closer you could use video games to connect. If you don’t live near them you could meet up in the online world and spend a little time together. If you choose an MMORPG that someone you love plays, you can meet up online and chat, go on quests together, trade items, and progress through game levels together. It can be a great way to connect with teens who normally might balk at spending time with parents or grandparents. Since everyone in the game is anonymous, only you and your socially conscious teen have to know who his gaming partners are. If you just wish you had more in common, use video games to help you bridge the gap.
So, don’t be afraid to give video games a try. You might love them. Any type of video games is a great tool to maintain mental sharpness. Many games allow a player to play against a computer opponent so even someone who is mostly alone can have an mentally stimulating gaming experience. Choosing a mire involves character based game is a great way to connect with other people. You might also find yourself making a new connection with someone you love.