Over the past few decades, gaming has become a multi-billion-dollar global industry powering some of the biggest tech companies in the world. People from all walks of life can now earn a living as pro players and streamers, and several major industries are tapping into the marketing power of gamification. Despite this, gaming can sometimes still be viewed as nothing more than an indulgent leisure activity.
Did you know, however, that there are digital games out there that can actually make you smarter? As well as serving up engaging and immersive content, these games can boost your creativity, sharpen your social skills, and even enhance your attention span.
Welcome to the world of brain training through entertainment! Read on to find out more and discover the best digital games that can give your grey matter a boost.
Why Gaming is Good for the Brain
Contrary to some misconceptions, gaming is a powerful and effective way to tackle brain health and cognitive development. Don’t just take our word for it! The impact of platform video games has been a topic of interest to academic researchers worldwide for several years.
Playing a console classic like Super Mario Kart can actually result in improved memory and recall. And that’s not all; neuroscientists have discovered that gaming improves hand-eye coordination and spatial awareness in participants.
Engaging with well-designed digital games offers a unique blend of mental stimulation, problem-solving, and social interaction. Moreover, since many games immerse players in complex decision-making scenarios, they can also sharpen analytical skills, allowing individuals to consider their options, anticipate outcomes, and be more flexible in their strategic approach.
Multiplayer experiences, meanwhile, nurture social skills, teamwork, and communication. These games are a great way to foster a sense of belonging and collaboration in even the most challenging of virtual environments.
Primary Games for “Brain Training”
If you’re keen to elevate an ordinary video gaming experience into one that will make you smarter, make sure you add the following digital games to your library.
If you want to brush up on your ability to make sound decisions even under pressure, Blackjack could be the game for you. Sure, this casino classic has been in play for centuries now, but it still stands out as an excellent way to develop your brain.
What’s more, it’s never been easier to get started with this challenging game than here in the digital age. Modern gamers can choose everything from playing online blackjack and playing online blackjack at platforms like Joe Fortune, or you could go the old-fashioned route and set up a game in an instant.
But why is blackjack so good for training your brain? Winning a round doesn’t just mean making a hand of 21; it also requires being able to analyze probabilities and make effective decisions with very limited information. Deciding whether to “hit” or “stand” hinges on a mix of logic, intuition, and quick calculation — if you can master all three, you’ll hone your ability to make sound decisions even under pressure.
World of Warcraft
Can you even call yourself a gamer if you haven’t played World of Warcraft? This iconic
MMORPG is one of the most popular digital games on the planet — over a million users a
day head online to enter the universe of Azeroth. WoW doesn’t just deliver on the compelling RPG and action-adventure front, though; it’s also an excellent training ground for building your tactical prowess.
Navigating the world of Azeroth demands teamwork, communication, and collaboration, especially as you’ll often be called on to band together with other players as you delve into dungeons and participate in epic battles. Meanwhile, the game’s guild system helps to foster social bonds, helping players to cooperate and strategize effectively.
When it emerged on the scene in 2011, Minecraft became an instant hit for its It’s almost addictive gameplay. The simple premise of the game — roaming a blocky, 3D, procedurally generated world — belies the genuine experience of playing it. This sandbox masterpiece allows you to explore and build in an endless open world while adding several nail-biting elements of survival for good measure.
Whether devising elaborate contraptions or constructing intricate structures, every moment spent playing Minecraft can assist in honing your creativity and problem-solving skills. The process of envisioning and executing your grand designs requires effective strategic planning. And, despite the fact that you’ll be playing the title on a screen, exploring the vast open world of Minecraft can take your spatial awareness up a notch.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Not every digital video game is high-octane or requires you to take a risk with strategy; some games are simply a pleasure to play while doing wonders for the nervous system. Animal Crossing: New Horizons is one such title.
This beautifully designed multiplayer game for the Nintendo Switch from the stresses of daily life and it’s one that players of all ages can enjoy. Research scholars and the gaming community alike have even noted its significant anxiety-relieving benefits: one 2021 study found that it even minimized the impact of social isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic.