Sharpening Your Wit

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Scientifically it has been shown that playing games of certain types can sharpen your wit and intellect and even stave off some of the ailments associated with aging, such as forgefulness, senility and even help against Alzheimer’s.  Numerous studies have shown that people who played Chess, or other mentally sharpening game had lower incidents of such ailments later in life and that continuing to “use your brain” decreases its rate of decay.  Like the old proverb “use it or lose it” the same holds true with any muscle in the body, if your muscles are not used they will eventually atrophy and weaken.  The brain is another muscle in this way, if you don’t challenge it and keep your mental faculties stimulated and sharpened, it will start to deteriorate.

This is where gaming comes in, whether it be online gaming, internet gaming, board games, but make sure you play games that actually require you to calculate and think to solve them.  Simply playing solitaire does not stimulate enough neurons to really charge the brain cells I would imagine.  A game which has you have to think about multiple possible scenario’s, or solve a puzzle can help keep you mentally sharp.  I enjoy many mental games, role playing games which are centered on vast numbers, calculations for attack, damage, hit points, experience, skills, feats and require much involvement and thought I find are good constructive ways to stimulate my brain.  I also play chess, stratego, risk and other games whenever I get a chance.

Writing is found to be another way to stimulate your brain and prevent the same mental decline or at least help slow the rate at which it occurs, creating poetry, literature, reading does this to some effect but not as much as writing as writing you have to imagine and think of the words rather than just see them and repeat them.  Everyone can use mental wit sharpening and there is even cases of games specifically designed for this such as Brain Age for Nintendo DS and Nintendo Wii.  Soduku I imagine is another game that helps stimulate as it requires you to figure out patterns and sequences of numbers which range in complexity.

Bottom line is that the brain is another muscle and need not be wasted when you can keep it stimulated so it will stay intact for years to come.

This is just one of my personal insights, and isn’t based solely on medical fact, if you read Science Daily and Medical Journals you will see there are studies that show that games and mental exercises help combat mental degeneration but they are just studies, there is no scientific proof, yet it would make sense when you think about it.

-Justin Germino

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Updated: January 5, 2009 — 8:33 pm