Do Computer Games Improve Brain Function?

People who play video games show an observable difference in brain structure than those who do not partake. It seems that research studies suggest there is a correlation between playing certain games and our cognitive flexibility and improved decision-making. Brain volume increases in the areas controlling fine motor skills, memory formation, and strategic planning. Potential for therapeutic support in treating several brain disorders and conditions resulting from an injury is shown.

Video games linked to better memory in dementia patients ...

Brain Volume Increases

A study shows that some real-time strategy games can increase our brains Gray matter. These increases are said to be in the hippocampus, right prefrontal cortex, and cerebellum.

The hippocampus is responsible for creating and storing our memories. The hippocampus also connects emotions, smells, and sounds to the memories. The prefrontal cortex is involved in our decision making, problem-solving, planning, voluntary muscle movement, and impulse control. The cerebellum controls muscle tone, balance, fine motor control, and equilibrium.

Action Games Improve Visual Attention

Our visual attention can improve as well by playing certain video games. Our visual attention level depends on our brain’s ability to process relevant visual information and quash the irrelevant. It shows that video gamers typically outperform the non-gamer in the area of visual attention tasks. However, the type of game does play a significant role in visual attention enhancement. Visual games such as Halo require rapid responses to increase visual attention. It concludes that action games may have value in military training programs and treatments for specific visual impairments.

Video Games Reverse Aging Decline

Old Couple Playing Video Games Stock video footage | 4014902

Move over, kids! This COULD BE your Grandparents’ game! Older adults have increased their cognitive function by playing video games. These improvements in memory and attention functions seem to be lasting as well. Quite impressively, 60 to 85-year olds outperformed 20 to 30-year-olds who played a 3-D video game for the first time. Studies indicate that cognitive decline can be reversed at least partially in older adults.

Video Games and Aggression

Some research and study reveal there is also a negative side to playing video games as well as positive benefits. A study published in the journal, Review of General Psychology, shows that some adolescents become more aggressive from playing violent video games. Violent video games inveigle teenagers, who have issues such as depression, lack of compassion, rule-breaking, or acting without thinking. Therefore, teenagers with neurosis issues, who are disagreeable and less conscientious, seem to be more affected by violent video games.

It appears that most children are not affected. However, for those with pre-existing mental health or personality traits, violent video games could be harmful.

A study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology states that failure to master a video game leads to aggression regardless of its content. Researchers state that even games such as Tetris and Candy Crush could cause aggression like in a violent game such as World of Warcraft or Grand Theft Auto. Researchers insist that aggression is not related to violent video content but feelings of failure and frustration.


Healthier Than Working a Crossword Puzzle?

Fall Crossword Puzzle Free Printable Worksheet

Video games require quick-thinking, and it finds this may be more helpful at slowing or even reversing brain decline and function coming from age.

Six hundred eighty-one healthy adults tested, reports researchers from the University of Iowa. This group consisted of players over 50 years of age, assigned to play a computer game called Road Tour OR a computerized crossword puzzle game.

cognition-road-tour-combined

The game asked players to identify a vehicle’s image. This image displays for a brief moment at the beginning of the game then compares it to a similar image. Also, players match images of road signs from continually changing options (most of which were simply diversions.) 

As the game progressed, less time was given to complete the matches. Matching required their quick-thinking skills to finish the game successfully.

Players gained the equivalent of three years of cognitive “reserve” according to researchers’ calculations after playing for 10 hours either at home or in the lab. The conclusion when they were tested on their mental skills a year later showed that those who played the quick-thinking video games could postpone mental declines in memory and other functions such as planning and reasoning. This effect could last for about three years longer than those who played crossword puzzle games. Moreover, it seemed the more the players participated in the quick-thinking games, the longer they held back the cognitive decline.

An added plus, compared to the group who did crossword puzzles, the quick-thinking game players had higher test scores on concentration and were able to switch between tasks and process new information faster.

What IF you could play a video game AND earn at the same time? A win/win for everyone!

We know that we can stop this decline and restore cognitive processing speed to people and if we know that, shouldn’t we be helping them or even ourselves? I would say, YES!

Executive functions such as memory, attention, problem-solving, and perception skills decline with age but seem to improve from simple approaches such as quick-thinking game playing. Therefore, we could conceivably help more elderly improve, avoid, or even prevent some of this decline. It goes back to the “use it or lose it phenomenon.” The bad news is that cognitive decline is real; the good news is we can do something simple about it. The question then is, WILL we?

About the author

Gail holds one of the most challenging role in the Compumatrix Leadership: Membership. She ensures that that members and potential members enjoy the benefits of being part of the Compumatrix community.

Comments

  1. a very interesting read — at my age and knowing my shortcomings in the computer arena it is kind of saddening but do still enjoy a good crossword and back in my more family days — really loved the strategy game Risk — and do agree though the more active you stay with your mind and physical activity also the better and more you get to where You want to be — will read this many times that is for sure —

  2. Thank you for a new perspective on gaming, as I have judged gaming as violent and a waste of time. I also thought brainpower could only be increased by puzzles, reading and cognitive games. I personally don’t have hours to waste looking at a screen playing a video game, I would rather be in nature or reading a book, however, I can see the benefit of quick thinking puzzle gaming.

    1. Understandable that you’d rather be in nature. I can imagine quite a lot of our seniors would rather be as well. However, it is impossible for some, so to maintain or even increase their brain health this would seem an easy fix. Since they cannot get out and do like some are able. Plus, some are even able to add to their pensions by doing so. I say kudos to anyone who wants to “waste their time.” Perhaps it’s not a waste at all for them??

  3. Thanks, Gail for the wonderful blog, I read years ago where the plan was to get the kids good at games so they can send robots into military areas drones, etc. the better the hand-eye coordination the better the soldier. No more deaths, I read that 20 years ago. Here we are in the middle of it all. The games are amazing but my mom played them and became so competitive she would have dreams and finally stopped playing. I had to laugh but it was so cute she loved it but it made her blood pressure go up so for some great others be careful. My mom was a hoot!

  4. Everything in moderation I think the saying goes…lol At least low blood pressure wasn’t a problem? But yea, I am sure as with anything, we can overdo it. If we know we are prone to do so, perhaps set limits on usage. Or perhaps the caretakers could set the limits themselves. Kudos to your Mom for keeping that competitive edge…lol

  5. I do a lot of crossword puzzles and General Knowledge puzzles. I do a lot of computer jigsaws and probably too many other computer games or puzzles. I do not engage in gaming with others and avoid war games and violent games like the plague I dislike watching people getting shot or maimed. There is far too much trouble in the world with political conflicts and religioun based or ideology based wars

    1. I have to agree with you there Jeff. I don’t like those type games and don’t even like to see anyone play them. It’s just crazy stuff as far as I’m concerned. But if we can help ourselves by playing “G” rated games then why not? I guess those who wish not to have a choice. That’s one thing we all share, the ability to choose.

  6. I guess it comes down to personal choice and whether you think you are achieving anything. There are so many games and puzzles around that I tend to stick to the favourites Newspaper crosswords Much more informative than most of the biased news reports.
    Computer puzzles, cooking hints and watching sport mainly field hockey golf and Rugby.Anything but football. The biggest problem with some sports these days is the ludicrous amounts of money involved. Emough to feed a country for a week or three.

    1. I agree with you Jane…except that ALL pro sports players to me are overpaid. It is a shame to see homeless, and starving people living the lives they are forced to endure, and seeing these people paid enormous amounts of money! Where is the justice in that. It is a downfall of society to put up with that.

  7. I had read about how games (board or computer) help one’s brain, but now I know even more how they help. Which is a good thing because my husband and I do spend a fair bit of time playing games on the computer rather than watching television….it has become our “date nights” which can be full of friendly (mostly) rivalry. We especially love thinking, detecting like games like Nancy Drew, King’s Quest, Myst, Riven, etc. Anyone else love playing those games?

    1. I don’t have the time really Janis, but if I did I see nothing wrong with it. It sure beats being fed the Bull you see on TV and sitting there being brainwashed. Kudos to you and your hubby that you have found ways to enjoy them together!!

  8. I have always loved crosswords, jigsaws, and puzzle games. I have also played and enjoyed role playing and other types of computer games. I have more time now to enjoy gaming but try not to spend enormous amounts of time doing so while letting chores and other tasks go undone .It is good to know that I am helping my brain stay more intact and active than if I did not enjoy these sorts of entertainment.

    1. it CAN be a time consumer for sure Gloria. Time flies when we are having fun they say..lol but I agree, since we do reap a benefit it can’t be all bad. I can’t think of a much better way to stay alert and sharper witted than to do so by stimulating our minds with some games.

  9. To say the truth I’m learning something, I cant remember the last I played any video game, my smart phone has games that my children spend quite sometime there till i get concerned, I’m coming from a background that says do constructive things with your time than play what doesn’t benefit you….. now i know. Thank you Gail.

  10. Wow, thanks for sharing this information, Gail. I didn’t know video games could be that beneficial. I have never liked playing video games. I never played them at arcades nor have I ever owned an X-Box or anything like that. After reading this, I’m going to look for quick-thinking games. Maybe it’s not too late. lol…..

  11. I agree with you, Gail. This definitely does improve the cognitive abilities of elderly people. I used to play a very fast paced game on my PC up until about a year ago. It was a Minions game and I used to love it until Microsoft took it off the PC platform. My eyesight prevented me from playing it again on my phone…but back to the point. My young grandson played the game too and when he saw me play it he was astonished that I saw the level through to the end without crashing out LOL. He tried the same level and never got to the end before having to restart. I think he was happy that Microsoft prevented me from playing it again.

  12. Thanks Gail for the reminder to keep active both physically and mentally..Games provide not only the elderly but the young with cognitive skills. They help the young develop them and the elderly to keep them. The old saying ‘if you don’t use it, you lose it” holds very true. Those that just sit and vegetate will not develop a strong working mind. For those like myself, who never play or even like computer games there are alternatives. Chess, card games,physical exercise and even just reading will all help keep our minds active.

  13. Nothing wrong with video games if you have nothing better to do. This is not my case since I have too many other interests which are more important to me. I don’t watch TV either, just so much propaganda which I don’t need.
    Unforturtantly so many have become addicted to these games especially young people while not doing what they’re really should more focus on, like studying, being active away from the computers.
    Everything on limited time is good, but often it’s overdone.

  14. Great blog Gail.I have never played any computer games,as I was not really a fan of it.But your blog gives me confidence that I can easily play games on the computer like most elderly people.

    1. I am more of a practical person spending lots of time in the gardens and spending time painting indoors winter, and out.when the weather is nice.outdoors.

      I find plenty to do and could never handle computors with office work at the best of times.

      I avoid the computor now much more then I used to. with prolonged sitting.

      Would be a great pastime if vision is great .
      and no sore lower back that the spinal column is crushed on the nerves,
      nor carpel tunnel both hands..

      Will leave that with the ones that have time to do this..
      No doubt it would sharpen minds but kids need fresh air and to take on the beauty of nature as a balance. .

      I watch so many playing games on phones too, on beaiutiful days when there is so much life going on arround.

      My favourite time is when I can find a good Netflix movie and spawll out on the couch, resting all the the limbs .after an exercised day..
      Its satisfaction of progress and jobs needed with maintenaince..

  15. There is no doubt that many video games will sharpen our minds and learn patience from it, but I have seen children and adults, if they start a video game, they will stick to it and waste the whole day. I understand this. I’d rather play a puzzle  and alphabet making game. I personally like to play badminton and read books which makes my mind very fresh.Thank you for sharing info.

  16. I cannot agree more. For adults, as we age, it can help improve memory, sustain attention and cognitive skills. Our cognitive function often becomes impaired or begins to decline as we get older, but keeping ours minds engaged and active can help improve brain health. I personally like playing word games, Sudoku, Tetris, arcade games of the 1970s/1980s (Space Invaders, 1942, Pac Man) to keep my mind active and have added these as one of my past-time activities during this pandemic.

  17. Interesting article Gail! I play video games since I was young. It is a very good way to spend some time and when you start playing the time really flies. But like many things in life, moderation is the key and too many hours in front of a video game would not be health for sure.

  18. Great blog Gail, I play video games a lot with my grandkids and they think it is so funny when they beat me. I also play games on my computer everyday and it is nice to know that it is a good thing to do so i will keep on playing. Thank you Gail for this information.

  19. This is a very interesting article, Gail. I am not a gamer myself, although I fondly recall playing video games for a few years in the late 80s and early 90s, with my young son. As a rule, I just don’t care to play video games or other games like cards or board games. But after reading this information I will re-evaluate my position and seriously consider playing video games, for the health of my brain! Thank you for posting this important information.

  20. I knew it!! I wondered how my kids are becoming so quick thinking! They play video games to a level of what I consider possible obsession. So, while I have been on the concerned side of the issue, feeling that obsessive playing created possible problems, like lessened social interaction, I can see with balance, it can be a great training aid for the younger generation. But, thanks to this article, I see there is major benefit for sharpening my own cognitive function…let’s see…now where was I?!

  21. I may have mentioned this earlier, I can’t remember, but I had an uncle who lived to be over 90 years old who played cribbage every single day, Back in his day they didn’t have the computer games like we have today. But I visited him in his late 80’s and he was so sharp and smart I was a bit taken back by him. He woke up at 4:30pm, read the morning paper, and then played cribbage with his wife or whomever else he played with. Engaging the mind is so important in those later years.

  22. I have never played a video game….would not even know where to start! But the idea of improving my sharpness, my ability to think quickly, and to remember things would be a huge asset! You intrigued me, Gail, when you mentioned “and be able to earn at the same time” definitely caught my attention! Is that in our CDAP future?

    1. The possibilities are endless for you Gary. The range of games is so wild that you would struggle to not find something that takes your interest. Alot of games can be played via the computer now and you can play by yourself, against friends or against a complete stranger from around the world.

      Perhaps, you’ve always had a keen interest in the thinking game of chess? My dad taught me when I was very young but it’s always good to test yourself against other people online.

      If fishing was a hobby, there is hundreds of fishing simulators which get better and better every year. The graphics, the detail of the locations, you name it and they’ve done it! My personal favourite is the well known game called FIFA. I love football but sadly, can’t compete physically like I used too. With FIFA, my passion can be brought back and I have played as the position on the game as I had as a teen. I signed up for tournaments with my team, won trophies and had it all recorded and live streamed.

      Once you find the game that pulls your interest, you’ll only find more and more and it’s a ever-lasting journey to be done at your own pace full of fun!

  23. I enjoyed your article Gail. My kids did grow up playing the video games and I would say that they are really smart people. I always wondered how they got so smart because I know it wasn’t from me. lol I enjoy sitting down and playing a few ga mes. I do believe that it keeps our brain busy and helps the brain. I saw my mom slowly die with her memory going down. She never even touched a computer. She said she had no interest. She didn’t read alot either. Her thing was watching TV. So I have tried to keep my brain busy with puzzles and a few games. Thank you for your article.

  24. When it comes to new concepts, our first thought as adults can be playing that game will damage you. Such was my response to my youngest son when he played his games so much. I had no idea how much he was learning and empowering his brain because he is a very smart and intelligent man. He is a whiz in electronics and also in building computers. When I first encountered the computer, I would play games to get me used to the foreign machine. Then I played more intense games to improve my sluggish eye focus. I will not feel so guilty when I play games, even though I do not have time now. Compumatrix has all of my attention at present.

  25. I do not play computer games; they do not attract me. However, I do play Bridge – and did so until the covid-19 came with restrictions for crowding. I do not know if Bridge is comparable to computer games, but I do know that all Bridge players in our little club can be described as “the elderly”, and they have brains sharper than the knives.

  26. Computer games are popular for some people. To get paid for doing that , would be just great. Anything that helps to keep our brain alert and sharpen our minds, is good for us. Most people focus on physical fitness .They do tend to forget that it is equally important to be mentally active . Creating a balance between the two – would be ideal.

  27. Well Gail nice again a beautiful, informative blog.I for one have been addicted to solving Cross word puzzles and Sudoku. But having read your post I have to seriously think about spending my time playing Video Games so that deterioration in my mental cognitive powers are somehow slowed or totally eliminated.I do wish lol

  28. I am not a gaming person, but your information on gaming to enhance elderly peoples brain capacity sounds interesting. I have not checked the game session in Discord; maybe there are games there that are set up for what you describe? Unfortunately, my computer is not good enough to test the games in there.

  29. I feel this is my expert area. From childhood to current day, I have always played games ranging from puzzles to role-play online gaming. Each one requires a different way of thinking to a problem to find a solution and you learn so much! I remember a particular time when I was in my teens during college, I managed to identify a flower after seeing it on a game I was playing at the time. Not in a million years would I have ever learned about it before.

  30. Thank you Gail for your input regarding video games for seniors, I do agree that its a good practice for seniors to play video games to improve their quick thinking and slowing or even reversing brain decline. We really have to encourage them to do so and also help them to choose the right games. Regarding kids and teenagers I think the advantage of video games are way less than the disadvantage, because of addiction and too much violence in this age could really have bad results in the long term. Again moderation is the word.

  31. Yes, folks, it really is possible to make money playing games online. You can search and find lots of them if you want to go that route from Bingo to Casino games. You could even put a game on your phone if you like. THIS is what I meant when I said “What IF you could play a video game AND earn at the same time? A win/win for everyone!”
    Personally I don’t have time right now to play a game. But then, my job here I think keeps my brain fairly active anyway…lol.

    1. It’s incredible how much money can actually be earned from gaming these days as it gets bigger every year. You can join sporting organisations and earn funding from them. Competition wins can range from a couple of hundred dollars to over a million! Mind blowing.

      There is a game called CSGO which allows you to buy skins/camoflauge for your guns and knifes. These can sell on the market for several hundred dollars easily.

      I play an online game presently which has alot of Venezuelan players who don’t even play the game for fun. They do it as a business. They make in-game gold and sell it on various websites and end up making alot more money than they would working a 9-5 job. Interesting to think about and incredible to think about the potential when going forward.

  32. Its remind me of the days i used to run a cyber café, we had all this play stations and many of the young ones where glued till evening, good to know the positive side of it and also how it can be used for the benefit of all of us health wise. Thank you for the blog.

  33. Use to play video games in my youth..Now I leave that to my kid who like it a lot.
    He’s an autistic kid, so I can see the benefits from it cause it helps him think in different ways than before.
    Just need to make sure he doesn’t sit there too much 😉

  34. I had no ideal video games had that much potential I have played them off and on but back in the day I was a pinball man won a LOT of free games hand and eye coordination is the secret to pinball. That seems nothing in comparison to the blog you posted so many avenues to help repair the brain is wonderful I would surely hope the experts will pay attention to this and spread it far and wide.

  35. Totally agree that some computer games can help with improved thinking, dexterity, and increased comfort in ones self. As to the young folks, I think they have created another world to live in while escaping reality.

    My son could sit in front of a screen for two days and not budge. He was into two games and would switch back and forth. I used to ask him if he made any money yet? Always, the same answer, “not yet but maybe some day.” Still waiting.

    We here at our house are waiting for our program to get moving so we can get a pair of racing simulators. Very expensive versions of Solitare™

    Testing shows that there is a difference in attitudes of older folks. Computer games do intact wake up the brain. Sounds like a reason to spend the money and have fun at the same time.

    1. Hi there Joe, I was very much like your son. I went through a rather rough period in my life where physically, I could not take part in everyday sports that I had done for years and turned my head towards gaming.

      That was probably the best thing that happened to me. I started to find a creative side of me I never knew was in my depths. I became socially more prepared after losing alot of confidence. I would wake up, talk to people that I had never met for hours just in a whirlwind of adventure.

      Last year, I went to Germany with three other guys who I had never met but had played a football game with for about 3 years. I imagine your son will be so fascinating to talk too and probably had friends for life just from the gaming.

  36. Your interesting blog post made me think if I ever played computer games. Maybe as a teenager with my friends but not anymore. I love to be close to nature, I have my daughters and my horses, and a lot of the flexibility of my brains is used to keep them on the right track. Excercise enough.

  37. Great points Gail. Never mind the FUN of it all. No matter what the game it will and does help with several functions as stated. Combine that with the endorphins of fun and it’s a recipe for greater skill development. One of the best ways to learn.

  38. The really interesting way games are moving forwards these days is so captivating and an exciting prospect for the future!

    It wasn’t that long ago when Pokemon GO was released. It was like releasing a stampede of people out into the real world to explore and catch pokemon. All ages, different background but one thing in common. The love for games and especially Pokemon.

  39. Interesting topic, I never have played video games, so I’m not one to make a good assessment whether they improve your brain, but like all computer games, video games must be addictive and can make you lose in other parts of life. I like a little game that I play on my cell phone and I actually have to play it at least once a day, I can’t imagine what would do to those more sophisticated and intriguing games.

  40. I do play games from time to time. I have been doing this since I had my first pc. I don’t play often and most certainly not every day. I like to use a game to get some distraction. To put my mind to other things than my work or what is happening in the world. I don’t play with the intention that my brains will improve. For me, that is a nice side effect.

  41. this is such a great blog posting and reading replies are just as amazing — there is so much to take from this and truly as i grow old gracefully i hope — agree that there are parts that aren’t as sharp as once was but also in truth i use as as i can mentally n physically and it keeps me sharper than if not using — fact —

  42. This article is very interesting, because from we young age we are taught that video games are bad and make you not smart. After reading this article we know that is not 100% true. I think overall it is important to make conscious efforts to chose the video games that enhance your brains ability and does not dull it.

  43. I love to play games Gail. It is fun to do and now I read that it is even good for the brains. I love that. I play many games with my daughter between the school lessons that she has to do at home (because of the pandemic). It gives both of us a little distraction. That is what we need in these bizarre times.

  44. I never was much of a “gamer”! Growing up, I would only play board games if I was really BORED! When I first got on the computer, I used to play solitaire a lot. Then, I decided it was a distraction so I quit. I know playing games sharpens the mind but sometimes, I would rather be boring! When I was in college, my roommate was hooked on pinball. I played occasionally but I would rather hang out at the horse barns.

  45. I used to spend lots of money in video games, I also spent hours in front of the tv playing either by myself or with friends. They are fun and exciting, they can also make the hours go by and I would not even notice after hours of playing. They can be addictive and I wasted too much time playing. I don’t know if they enhance the brain function, but I’m glad I’m over the habit and now I don’t have time to sit down to play them.

  46. Thanks so much for all the valuable information Sophey!! I had never thought about this, and I for one human, who has almost never played games, wrote a few but never played except to test.
    I can easily recognize my mind is not what it used to be… definite decline, or laziness? A toss up at this point
    But, perhaps o will now add games like you mentioned word games to open my mind and hopeful change my rate of mental decline!! Thanks again for the fine article!

  47. When I saw the picture of the elderly “teenagers”, my first thought was the controllers are just props. Having a sister who is rather adept at playing video games, I then accepted that they may not be props. Then, I chuckled when I read that up to 85 year olds was outperforming up to 30 year olds. At least now I don’t feel so bad about my son’s time spent playing video games. Hmmmm…. maybe I need to learn a new skill. At 59, I could use a boost in the gray matter.

  48. I grew up playing video games. Yes, it was a waste of time at times but there were also great things that came from playing. While playing on-line games, one in particular, I ‘met’ several people that are now life long friends. One was from England (me being in Colorado) and he has even been here to visit. And some of my best childhood memories are playing video games with my dad. He would usually win but it was always so special when he would play with us.

  49. Thank you Gail, for another informative article. I may have to start playing more video games! It does vividly illustrate how important it is to exercise the brain, it is an organ that needs constant nurturing. The good news is by exercising your brian you slow cognitive decline dramatically.

    1. Hello Patrick, thank you! I believe the evidence AND from personal experience tends to put out strong evidence FOR keeping our brains polished and sharp. Of course, anything we set out to do can be abused. I do believe anyone could overdo and turn it to a negative instead of a positive. People with addictive personalities should be very mindful of how much they are playing games as opposed to paying attention to the rest of their health, not the list of which is physical exercise.

  50. Interesting read Gail, I have spent so much money on games for my kids I have come to hate them. E box, Playstation, Wee just to name a few. For me to pick up a controller to play a game I’m lost and don’t want to learn how to use it. Maybe I’m wrong, God knows I need help with my mind, so maybe I need to give it a try.

  51. I enjoy playing games myself, maybe it’s the kid in me…lol, believe it or not, I sort out my problems by playing mindless games. I get an odd feeling of accomplishment when I “beat” a game or score higher points than I did last time I played. Strange I guess, but true.

  52. I love playing games on the computer.
    For years I lived in other parts of the world and always within the expat community there was always a ladies games afternoon, whist, mahjong, cribbage etc etc, These afternoons were the source of many friendships, a great way of making friends and from afternoons around a game table we branched off into more physical games, sometimes a crowd of us bowling, other times pairing up for tennis, golf or squash.
    When you come back to your own country you normally find the interest isn’t there to do the same, mainly because when your in your home country you also have your family around you, but with the help of the internet, I still play games against some of my far flung friends from years ago, usually scrabble or the quizzes that can be passed from you to another player.
    Yes I do need to keep an eye on the time as I do sometimes get carried away and waste too much time, but overall it is harmless fun and does help me carry on some really great friendships

  53. Thank you Gail for this interesting blog. I’m going to have to admit, I do play one game on my phone, called Toonblast. I generally play it when I have a little time to waste, which isn’t very often.
    Maybe I’m old fashion, but we like to play cards. I will have to get primed as the family will soon be here and we usually have a girls day of playing 6-deck canasta.

  54. Games where never my cup of tea, maybe because I was always lousy in playing them, I could not pass the first level in Donkey Kong, because I would get eliminated.
    I do like to see game competitions and did play computer games once in a while, but my passion was with books and now its podcasts (listening to).
    But any activity that makes your brain react is a good stimulus for the brain

  55. My first computer was a Commodore 128 and I remember that my family and I played many games on it. Maybe it is true that playing games has a positive effect on some brain functions. Reading most certainly has this effect. I read a lot and have been doing that for all my life. Day in day out it gives me a lot of pleasure to grab a book and read. And the games, not for me anymore.

  56. I don’t play video games but try and keep my brain active with reading, cross word puzzles and trivia quizzes. I love music and when the songs are playing I try to remember the name of the song and the artist. I firmly believe in keeping the brain active, as my poor Mum had Dementia before she died and it is a very cruel disease.

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