Far from being the drain on your brain that your parents warned you they were, certain genres of video and online games are understood to improve cognitive performance. In a BBC Horizon interview with University of Geneva Professor Daphne Bavelier, Bavelier revealed the visual ability of regular gamers was remarkably better than sometime gamers or indeed those who had never played.
And while experts cannot agree on whether violent games encourage violence in the gamers playing them, it seems that the general opinion is that playing strategic or creative games for a given period of time can improve mental health.
So the question remains: if you want to give your brain a boost, what genres should you play?
RPG (Role playing games)
RPG games are believed to improve critical thinking, brain processing, and cognitive function. This is also one the best genres for cultivating creative thought, and when you think about it, this makes perfect sense.
Controlling an avatar in a digital world requires more than a simple repeated series of taps on a controller. You must make decisions that will affect the game much later down the line, so the ability to plan is essential to succeed in the game. These are learnable skills and improving your RPG strategies will surely have a positive effect on your real-world life.
Action Video Games
While the RPG genre does involve action, generally it is much slower paced than the more popular Action Video Games genre. Action games like Super Mario and Donkey Kong require the ability to make split-second decisions and react accordingly.
Gamers who play these types of games on a regular basis often have better brain connections and more gray matter. Scientists believe that this improves memory and cognitive functions. Add this to the fact that we already know Action gamers have better attention skills and hand to eye coordination, and you have a genre that is incredibly good for the continuing development of your brain.
And by card games we mean poker. While it is one of the most difficult card games to master, the benefits of doing so are phenomenal. A 2009 French study found that playing poker drastically reduces the chances of developing brain-related diseases by as much as 50% or more.
Leading Alzheimer’s researcher Dr. Jeffrey Cummings agrees with the results of the study, and in our opinion, this makes poker by far and away the best gaming genre to take part in to maintain a healthy brain.
But to get the most out of this incredible brain boosting game, you must know how to play it right. These strategies to learn to play poker online offer you the chance to pick up some tips that will prevent you going bust before your brain has even warmed up.
Whether it’s RPG, action video games, or card games like poker, the fact is that spending a few hours gaming is a great way to give your brain a boost. So instead of indulging in reality TV, grab a controller or fire up the PC and keep your brain firing on all cylinders.