Today, we are continuously asked to be creative and to use critical thinking and problem-solving skills to achieve success, whether in our academic lives or our professional careers. However, developing these skills is not a simple task, and it requires a lot of hard work and dedication to have an efficient brain. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun while doing so, as there are many games that can help us improve our cognitive functions and creative thinking.
Creative video games
In recent years, we have seen the release of several video games, from building to open-world survival games, that stimulate player’s creativity and critical thinking, while providing hours of fun and entertainment. With some recent studies that have shown that playing video games can boost our cognitive skills, video games are finally being seen as a powerful educational tool.
Building and creating virtual worlds is the main goal in Minecraft, and gamers’ creativity plays a big role in this. Regarded as one of the most successful video games ever, Minecraft brought us a platform in which we can put our brain skills to use, and design detailed virtual worlds in a procedurally-generated gaming environment, while dealing with issues like resources management, weather, and even terrain transformations. The game was praised for challenging players’ creative skills, and was even labeled “a virtual Lego”, for its graphics that resemble Lego bricks.
But it’s not just building games that can provide us with great challenges. Fortnite, one of the most played games in the world today, requires a lot of critical thinking and quick decision-making for players to be able to succeed. Featuring a battle royale gameplay, Fortnite pits 100 players competing to be the last man standing on an island map. They must scavenge for resources and gear, and build fortresses and traps to defend against the other players.
Card games aren’t all about luck, and even though some are considered games of chance, there is a lot of skill involved. Poker has already earned its space among mind sports, with several countries recognizing it as a game of skill. And many specialists and players argue that blackjack is also a game of skill, since it requires quick decision-making, math skills, and a good understanding of its strategies.
Playing online poker today is as easy as shopping for groceries, with hundreds, if not thousands, of online rooms and poker websites. Players can choose from the game’s many variants, including Texas Hold’em and Three Card Stud, different bet limits, and even play at free-to-play tables to practice. There are several tournaments and special events as well, and the World Series of Poker, the world’s most prestigious series of poker tournaments, even holds some of its events online.
Blackjack is also available online, and most casino websites offer the game and its variants with different betting limits, and even novelty games like progressive blackjack and themed variations. One of the hottest trends in the online betting world today, blackjack is also offered in live dealer tables. These games are operated by professional dealers and broadcast via streaming, providing an authentic gaming experience to players in the comfort and safety of their homes.
In the past few years, plenty of brain training programs have come up to help us improve our mental functioning and prevent brain aging, while improving memory, response time and logic skills. Through the process of gamification, these programs can provide a great challenge to our brains, and still be a lot of fun.
Lumosity is certainly the most popular of these brain training programs, and can be played on the official website, or on its mobile app that is available on both iOS and Android app stores. Developed by scientists and researchers, Lumosity’s games offer fun training through mental fitness games, tests and other activities, while keeping track of progress and improvements.
With over 35 different brain training games, Elevate is a free mobile app that focuses on improving cognitive skills, and it’s available for iOS and Android devices. Its games are centered on reading, writing, speaking, and math, and it’s even possible to customize the training to achieve better performances in any of these areas.
Finally, Peak is another brain training app that offers games to enhance focus, memory, problem-solving, mental agility and several other cognitive functions. The app also tracks the progress and compares performances with other users. Peak is a free app, but a premium subscription unlocks additional features.