Yep, you read that right, playing online games can have a positive impact on your mental health. While it may seem like a waste of time, it’s not. Gaming is a great form of low cost entertainment and it helps improve mood and concentration levels. It activates the reward system of the brain through dopamine release but don’t overdo it. It can also help with hand and eye co-ordination too.
For me, playing online games is really therapeutic. I have always found that playing games helps me a lot when it comes to stress relief. I think because it’s a bit of escape from reality, it helps take my mind off of other things (normally my day job!) that might be causing me stress. It’s a good distraction with added benefits!
When I’m on my train commute into work I like playing on my mobile phone because it’s always with me. It also means I can use the phone for other things while I’m playing. And it’s so easy to access game sites on your mobile phone too which is why mobile gaming has grown a lot in recent years.
To keep my phone charged I carry a lightweight portable charger or charge on the train (when available, as not all carriages have electric plug/charging points) or when I get to my desk at work.
These days there are quite a few games I like to play and on Plays.org there are over 100 free games to choose from, for all ages and abilities. You can also save the games you like playing into a favourites folder. This is really handy because you can find what you want to play quickly and easily, each time you visit the site.
I always like having a go at playing some of the retro games like Tetris and Space Invaders, which remind me of my younger days. I remember the first game my parents bought us was ping pong. The ball used to go back and forth across our small TV screen while we rushed to get our bats(block line) in position to send it back the other way. I also remember when my brother got an Amstrad for his birthday.
I also like to have a go at some of the kids games too, like Animal Connection. This game actually had my brain cells working hard to locate the matching animals and connecting them with only 2 turns of the line.
Above are a series of screen shots of me playing Animal Connection. The top screen shows the full tiles at the start of the game. The second screen shows me part way through the game. The bottom screen shows me almost finished, yay! :o)
Animal Connection is a Mahjong style, tile matching game, with a few levels of difficulty to choose from. I started with easy! You have to select matching tiles to remove them from the playing area and continue doing so, until they are all cleared.
But, not all of the outside animal pictures can be matched up straight away and the lines connecting the 2 matching tiles cannot turn more than twice. You really do need to concentrate. For younger audiences it means they also need to use their braincells too, which is good. You also get to have 2x shuffle of the tiles to help you with the matching, if you get stuck.
One of my absolute favourite games is Mahjong Solitaire. I could play it for hours. The 2 screen shots above show the game at the start with all the tiles laid out. The next screen shows my progress through the game.
Again, matching the tile patterns means I have to concentrate on what I’m doing. This is because not all the tiles are ‘free’ to match. Some have other tiles either side of them or on top of them.
You need to select a tile and then select a matching tile. Remember they must have a free edge to remove them from the playing area. Then continue doing so until they are all cleared.
My best time so far is 7 minutes and 20 seconds. Let me know if you like it too and how well you do, if you play it?
If you’re interested in knowing about other ways I look after my health & wellness, you can read more information here.