Many of us will remember our mothers yelling at us to stop playing those video games or “our eyes will go square” and “our brain will turn to mush”. While there is something to be said for not wasting an entire life playing games, there is a growing school of thought that gaming might actually do the complete opposite of turning brains to mush; it might, in fact, make us smarter. Whether you believe it or not, there are definitely some games that have more intellectual credentials than others and these are the best of them.
There are many card games that are really fun, but the one that always has something new to learn is poker. There are plenty of ways to play free online poker, which means it’s the perfect game for those who want to be able to practice at any time of the day.
If you’ve never played before, you’ll need to memorize your hand rankings before you can “level up” in your game. For early games, it’s definitely not cheating to have them written down just in case you’d need to refer to it, but by the time you’re playing proper games, you’ll want all of this information in your head. This is the first reason why poker could be a brain-boosting game, as it relies heavily on memory. Not only do you need to remember the ranking of your hands, but you also need to remember the reactions of the players when the hole cards are dealt, as well as who raised the stakes. It’s a game of trickery and skill, perfect for those who want to learn how to perform under pressure and maybe even improve their memory.
Minecraft is one of the most popular games out there right now and a lot of that is due to its unrivaled open world format. The worlds you can explore in Minecraft are huge and that means there’s endless room for creativity. Creative intelligence is one of the most often overlooked forms of intelligence, but it’s also one of the most important. Without creativity, we would have a hard time thinking about things laterally and this way of thinking is almost always what leads to the greatest inventions.
Games like Minecraft encourage creativity and give players complete freedom to build the world they want. This unbridled creativity is useful for winning Minecraft tournaments and creating structures that will impress friends, but it’s more than that. Creative freedom fosters exactly the kind of thinking we need in the next generation of inventors and problem solvers.
Chess proficiency has long been an indicator of high intelligence and it remains true to this day. Becoming a grandmaster is a huge challenge, requiring you to achieve an ELO rating of 2500 or higher, or achieve two favorable results in a tournament. Chess is such a good indicator of intelligence because it’s called a full information game. This means that both players can see all the pieces on the board, which means from this knowledge they can know all the possible moves that can be played. The only guess in chess is to anticipate what your opponent might do next.
It takes immense logic to win, as well as an infallible knowledge of each piece’s abilities. People spend hours and hours poring over texts on chess strategy and there are still people who outplay everyone with relative ease. If you really want to develop your chess skills, researching some opening moves is a great place to start. A solid opening is a very important part of a game and there are endless books and YouTube videos you can watch and read to help you with your studies.