Regularly playing a strategy game or solving a puzzle can be beneficial to the brain. It can improve memory, concentration, and critical thinking. It teaches patience and prevents memory loss. Scientists recommend that people play strategy games once every day or at least a couple of times a week to reap the benefits.
Findings suggest that brain games cannot only prevent, but also improve cognitive symptoms related to mental conditions, such as mild traumatic brain injury. Regularly playing such games can even prevent diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Brain games require a certain amount of attention and observation. They are believed to be healthy for the brain just as a good work out is healthy for the body.
Strategy games such as chess improves memory, visualization, attention, creativity, and problem-solving skills. It also helps rehabilitation and therapy. Joseph N. Wdowski believes a chess game exercises the minds of the young and the old. Strategy games or puzzles do not require any physical effort, their sole focus is on the mind. Chess forces a player to keep track of his opponent’s move and plan ahead. Each chess piece follows a different set of directions, which forces the players to not only memorize the moves but also figure out how to use them to their own advantage.
Puzzles such as Sudoku and Crosswords keep your brain active, act as a friend when lonely or depressed, prevent memory loss problems, improve nervous system, and open the door to other puzzles. Dr. Marcel Danesi suggests that such games have high appeal because unlike the problems in our lives, these games have a definite solution. We can work our way to some sort of an end. He believes that people tend to find a sort of satisfaction in having completed a task, in having reached an end.
Puzzles like Sudoku and Crosswords require the players to pay attention to words and letters that are already in their respective row or column. Both require players to place the correct number or letter, which forces them to observe and plan where the right number or the letter goes.
Strategy games consume time because one cannot immediately reach an end. Players need time to consider and strategize the game. When people incorporate games into their life, they build a routine around it. In this way, it helps enforce time management. Strategy games can work as breaks from the normal stress of study, work, and other life problems.
Chess, Sudoku, and Crosswords are common strategy games that are the most popular. Other games include Colorku, Sumoku, Pix Mix, Kakuro, Qwirkle, Ken Ken, Taboo, and Shikaku. Individuals are strongly encouraged to try and incorporate one of these strategy games into their lives for a healthy mind and sharper cognitive abilities.