Couch Cat: Games to exercise your brain
Featured

15 March 2019
Author   Jackie Wilson Asheeke
Instead of complaining that your kids play computer games too much, get a controller and get busy with their game or find a completely new gaming software or website of your own.  Gaming can lift your spirits, stimulate/exercise your mind and divert excess energy.
Don’t let it discourage you when you challenge your kids in a computer game and they whip your butt.  Their youth will always make them more nimble and ‘quick’ in the eye-to-brain-to-fingers department.  However, the fact that you are with them, doing their thing on their turf, bridges many generation gaps.  Aside from that, the right game can be loads of family fun.
I prefer the old school, lower-tech ‘video’ games from 10-20 years ago; they are cheaply available on gog.com and origin.com as well as other gaming sites.  My son told me that ‘Tetris99’ was just released.  We used to play the older versions of that one together when he was a kid.  I can’t wait to get the new one and try it out.
Invest in a laptop with the high capacity graphics cards and other gaming hardware stuff.  Sometimes regular laptops don’t have the capacity to handle the graphics required by fancy new games.  Go to the specialized computer gaming stores, talk to a geek and he’ll sort you out. It is not cheap, but the high volumes of pleasure and mental exercise that you can gain make it worth it. 
With any game you choose, strive to complete all levels.  Keep at it over and over.  I’ve been playing Caesar III over 20 years.  Yep… I have gone all the way up to every level except Caesar!  Sometimes, I spend an entire Sunday afternoon playing in order to slowly overcome obstacles.  My kids laugh at me for being low-tech, but it gives me joy and makes me think hard.
I usually multitask and listen to music or an audiobook or to a TV show while playing computer games. 
With my tablet using Android, I can play games by swiping my finger across the screen (no more controllers or buttons to push). 
The downside of these modern games (like Candy Crush, Township, and others) is that they require ‘In App purchasing’ that forces you to buy (with REAL money) things needed to enjoy game fully.  That is a bummer.
In the old days you paid to purchase the game itself and that was that.  Now, they hit you up for a constant stream of money for every little thing and have the gall to offer the game for ‘free’.   Still, check it out and make an informed choice. 
Aside from the entertainment issue, these games also help exercise our brains.  Studies report that playing certain types of games help mood, memory, concentration, reasoning, and imagination. If I was a lab rat, I’d testify to that truth.  Check out greatseniorliving.com and sciencedaily.com for more information. 
My mom at 81 years young, plays various hand-eye coordination computer games.  These challenges keep her alert and connected…and they make her laugh or crinkle her forehead in concentration.  She said her fingers can move faster when she does other things because she exercises them while playing her games.  I love to play with her and we have a blast.
I see the benefits too.  When things get overly hectic at work, I take 15 minutes of middle-of-the-day, ‘me’ time to game.  Those seeing me ‘play’ don’t understand, but it is important to my mood, performance and concentration abilities.  I rarely have a ‘bad day’ at the office because I can release tension using a computer game. 
Get a computer game, fire it up and charge into battle or build new cities or grow plants on huge farms or play solitaire.  Games keep you alert when you feel drowsy and keep your eye-hand coordination well-exercised.  So, go for it!
 
 

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