-->

 

How many times have you heard people asking, "Aren't you too old to play online games?" There's a notion that gaming is just for the young and somewhat irresponsible and a waste of time. However, studies have shown that playing online games promote healthy brain aging.  The brain goes through changes as we age. It is inevitable but we can delay the decline of the brain function. 

Our cognitive skills decline as we reach midlife. Most common cognitive disabilities include memory loss and attention deficit. I'm turning 45 in a few months and I have noticed signs of these two disabilities. The pandemic has limited the activities I can do. It's a challenging and difficult time but it doesn't mean that I will let my mental wellness suffer. 




My favorite brain training activity is playing pattern games online. I discovered this while browsing the net for free online games to play. I devote at least an hour each day.  I usually play this before starting my work. I have the tendency to get overwhelmed when I have too much tasks to do in a day. Pattern games make me more focused. 




Another online game I find enjoyable is a word search game. I find it stimulating for my brain whenever I experience a writer's block. 




I also discovered a new game that challenges my decision-making skill. The 2 Minutes to Escape is a graphic 8-bit styled escape game where a player is given only 2 minutes to escape a rocket before it blows up. 

In an article published by Frontiers in Neuroscience, strategy games require players to quickly decide on a course of action, and then execute that action in real-time context. This can improve the brain's decision-making ability. 


I have also started playing the 8-Bit Dungeon Knight and Shadoworld Adventure during weekends. But I make sure I maintain my 1-hour game time. Remember, too much of the good stuff is bad. 

If there's something good that this pandemic has brought us, it's the time we get to spend at home. We always complain of not having enough time to relax or do the things we want to do, now we don't have to worry about getting caught in the traffic and wasting our time. Let us make good use of the "extra" time by taking care of our mental health and achieving healthy brain aging.