Video games are no longer exclusively for entertainment. In recent years, some of the industry’s most popular games are those which challenge players to think outside of the box. At this point, most people agree that certain games can help you develop your capacity for learning. These are the four best games for building your brain.
1. The Sims
Of all important life skills, social awareness is near the top. The Sims is an approachable game franchise that features an art style perfect for children and teenagers. However, don’t let the game’s cartoon appearance fool you. The Sims provides an immense amount of depth and shows players glimpses of how life really works in the outside world.
Players will learn about buying houses, making friends, self-development and many other topics that appear in day-to-day life. Those teenagers who enjoy The Sims are put into a growth mindset, and that is an essential feature of a lifelong learner.
Minecraft is one of the most popular video games among all age groups. In a sandbox world with limitless opportunities, players are free to explore their wildest ideas. In contrast to the tedium of regular life, Minecraft exposes players to the hidden secrets of the world’s happiest people: creativity and spontaneity.
The sandbox nature of Minecraft helps build players’ brains because few parts of the game are straightforward. Players exercise their critical thinking capacity, and they are forced to create solutions to problems that have many possible solutions. These are the skills of the real world.
3. Stardew Valley
Stardew Valley is a surprise hit from a few years ago, and it’s still one of the best games for brain development. Players are given total control over a farm, and they must forge their own path as the “new kid in town”. Players can choose from many divergent paths, but the core gameplay remains the same: specialize in something, build a reputation around town and watch as new opportunities unfold.
Above all, Stardew Valley teaches our brains to consider the compounding nature of responsibilities. When you grow and sell more crops, for example, people around town become more reliant on you. Over time, our brains will notice a similar pattern in all walks of life.
Tetris is the oldest game on this list — and it’s the most classically brain-intensive. The fast-paced nature of Tetris helps players develop their on-the-fly decision making. This is an important skill in many areas of life, but it’s especially important in conversation. Those who can think quickly are always among the most influential people in the room.
More importantly, Tetris will help players develop trust in their intuitions. With only limited time to place blocks in their eventual landing place, players must develop a true sense of muscle memory. Such skills are important everywhere from the classroom to the workplace.
These are the four best games for building your brain, and they all have one thing in common: they force players to make creative decisions. Games that push your brain toward a growth mindset will always hold a special place in the world of entertainment. These are among the few games that educate as much as they entertain.
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