George Bernard Shaw once said, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” At Lighthouse we believe this sentiment is true – the key to staying young at heart it to partake in fun activities. Video games, and other types of computer games like electronic versions of chess, puzzles, card games, sudoku and crosswords, are challenging, provide great brain exercise and can be enjoyed at just about any time. Recent research shows a direct positive correlation between video game playing and cognitive abilities. Here is a look at some of the hidden benefits of playing video games.
Improve Overall Cognition
Some view video games as a source of mindless and even addictive entertainment. However, new research indicates otherwise. Regardless of a players age, video games (and other computer games) provide important stimulation for the brain. Similar to the way muscles will deteriorate if they are not used regularly, the brain needs exercise too and video games can provide that stimulation. Playing video games can improve visuospatial skills, auditory memory, attention, concentration and brain speed, and can even enhance learning.
Sharpen Coordination and Ability to Multitask
Many video games require players to manipulate multiple buttons simultaneously, some require a player to move their body in a certain way and even simple computer games require the use of fine motor skills. Players are often challenged to coordinate movements as well, which can sharpen senses and improve multitasking abilities.
Boost Decision Making Skills
Playing computer or video games requires strategy, critical thinking skills and split second decision-making. Players must understand and follow rules in order to move to the next level or ultimately win the game, and split-second decisions can affect the ultimate outcome of the game. In this way, gaming can improve important decision making skills, which can begin to deteriorate with age. Players often find the challenge to make the correct decisions within the context of the game to be incredibly motivating.
Build Social Bonds
There is a common misconception that video games are a solitary endeavor, and can even be isolating. In fact, many games can (or must) be played with multiple gamers. It’s even possible to join up “virtually” with online partners or competitors. With online gaming, it’s as easy to play with a nextdoor neighbor as it is with a grandchild who lives several states away. Local video or computer game clubs are also great options for meeting people with shared common interests.
Unlock Your Inner Gamer
Here are some video and computer games that are popular with adults over 55:
- Candy Crush
- Words With Friends
- Flight Simulator Xtreme
- Trivia Crack
- PGA Tour
Lighthouse Senior Living is the premier option for senior living in both Ellicott City and Baltimore County (Hopkin’s Creek). Schedule a tour today to find out more about our exciting senior living community programs.