It’s easy to see the value of children playing games. Games teach kids to do all kinds of activities as they grow like planning and problem solving, all the while nurturing imagination, and cognitive, physical, and emotional skills. That’s obvious, and we’ve known this for generations.
If you connect to any group, publication, or social media that is established for older adults, you know, too, that games are excellent to help us elders problem solve and stay cognitively in shape. Organizations like AARP put out this kind of self-help material routinely. Everywhere we go there are a cabillion different types of games that appeal to us, whether they have the side effect of exercising our brains or not.
Games also teach all players how to fail. This is a not-so-fun but necessary part of any game.
Young or old, we love games so much, an entire entertainment industry has arisen from TV shows like What’s My Line, Name That Tune, Wheel of Fortune, and Jeopardy. Even if you don’t enjoy playing games, there a good chance you like watching others play, especially if their winnings are in money or other goodies. In many cases, our competitive nature is exposed for added excitement. Have you ever been to a Super Bowl party? If so, you’ve witnessed the heightened nature of watching players compete against each other in a game probably none of us can play today (or ever!).
Today’s games are many; thousands and thousands, perhaps even millions of them, exist around the world. I could list nearly 100 games that I’ve played throughout my life from Slap Jack and Hide and Seek to Spin the Bottle and Pinochle.
My game of choice is Sudoku. It’s a fun numbers game that fits nicely with my statistical background, and it comes in easy, medium, and hard/diabolical formats.
Crossword puzzles are another extremely popular type of game. Crossword puzzles, along with Sudoku, appear in most daily newspapers. Like Sudoku, they can be easy to nearly impossible to solve. They get more difficult as the week progresses, the easiest being on Mondays. If you’re good with words, you’re generally going to enjoy this type of game.
One of the most recent games sweeping the nation is Wordle. It’s another quick word game that incorporates some critical thinking as well as word expertise. The player gets six attempts to guess what the word of the day is. Only one word a day is played, and the game is available online. As with many games, luck often plays a role in Wordle.
All games listed here are portable. They’re available on your phones or in print. I’m never without, at the very least, one or two Sudoku games folded neatly in my wallet, in case I’m stuck in a long line or at some boring event. You can find out more information about all games that are linked in this post. Every kind of game has numerous free versions to learn and play online.
Here are some puzzle links I like: