ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Health»
  • Personal Health Information & Self-Help

Improve Your Memory by Playing Games

Updated on June 26, 2011

In the previous hub in this series I told you how watching a TV game show shocked me into setting out to improve my memory because I couldn’t answer questions that would have been obvious to me a few years ago. Today we’re going to look at how playing games can improve your ability to access the information that’s already in your head.

These are some of the things you can do:

• Watch game shows on television and try to answer the questions. This has 4 main benefits:

1. Revision – you’ll remind yourself of stuff you used to know.
2. Practice – the effort to retrieve information will unblock passageways and get the whole process working better.
3. More knowledge – you’ll learn new stuff. I’ve heard it said that this ‘clogs up’ the brain and makes it harder to find the bits you want. Nonsense – that’s like saying that athletes shouldn’t train because they have only so many miles in their legs. The more the brain works the better it gets.
4. Monitoring – you can judge on a day-to-day basis how things are improving.

• Do general knowledge crosswords. Everything that applies to TV game shows also applies here.

• It has been shown that learning to do cryptic crosswords makes you smarter, and your memory will benefit along with everything else.

• Trivial Pursuit – traditional or DVD versions. The same benefits apply to similar games such as ‘Scene It’.

• Scrabble. You might not immediately think of this as a memory game but Scrabble is all about recognizing patterns of letters and recalling how these go together to form words that you have seen or used in the past. There’s also the mental exercise of working out where to put your word to get the highest score without creating too many opportunities for your opponents.

• IQ tests/quizzes. You can get these in books, magazines and on web sites. They provide great thinking practice and there is also a direct memory component because you will quickly realize that you have come across this particular type of problem before and probably learned a technique for doing it. The more questions you attempt, no matter how unsuccessfully, the more you will remember. It has been said that IQ tests don’t really measure intelligence; they measure how practised you are at doing IQ tests – Great! That’s what we’re after here – learning.

• Any other game you can think of that makes similar demands on your concentration and recall of rules and techniques – various card games, chess, hangman, battleships, noughts and crosses (tic tac toe) etc.

One thing you’ll notice about all of the above – They’re mainly ‘old fashioned’ games with no ‘virtual’ component. The vital factor is that YOU do the thinking, instead of merely reacting to somebody else’s electronic creativity.

An obvious exception is the Brain Training series for Nintendo DS. I haven’t seen any statistics measuring how this affects memory and thinking skills but my personal reaction is that it’s a valuable tool.

Another bonus of traditional games is that they tend to have a social aspect – they involve other people whereas the electronic kind tend to isolate you (yes I know you can play against other people but the primary relationship is still between you and the machine.)

If, however, you find yourself with a pack of cards and no-one to play against, try a game of solitaire. There are many different versions and most of them involve close concentration and memory.

In the next article we’ll look at other things you can do to boost your memory.

You can find the first hub in this series at:

http://hubpages.com/hub/How-to-Improve-Your-Memory---and-Retrieve-the-Knowlege-already-in-Your-Brain

Tom Nolan is a dentist with over 30 years’ experience.

If you found this article useful, you should check out his book

Watch Your Mouth – An Owner’s Manual.

Also available as a download. This book is packed with practical advice and will tell you everything you need to know to keep your mouth healthy, trouble-free and beautiful for the rest of your life.

You can get in touch via Tom's practice:The Dentist in Town.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • evemurphy profile image

      evemurphy 9 years ago from Ottawa

      Great ideas Tom! I like to do the I.Q. puzzle books myself. :)

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)