Mind sports are the type of games based not on the player’s physical performance but intellectual abilities. Nevertheless, playing mind sports has a positive effect on physical and psychological health simultaneously. Those benefits include brain stimulation, reducing stress and anxiety levels, developing a competitive mindset, boosting concentration and cognitive capabilities, and improved sleeping habits. So it seems like it’s worth trying, isn’t it?
If you are interested in learning to play mind sports but don’t know where to start — this article is for you! Below, you will find seven mind sports, ranging from poker, Mahjong, Scrabble, and chess to cybersecurity wargames, speed reading, and competitive programming. Read on!
The first game on this list is poker, a mind sport that has gained popularity over the last decade due to the growth of the gambling industry. In addition to the thrill of bluffing and the excitement of up-and-down swings, poker teaches you how to be a better opponent and an effective leader. It’s all about observing your opponents’ body language and trying to figure out whether they have a good hand or not.
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If you are interested in playing puzzles and are also a fan of Chinese culture, Mahjong is the game for you! It is a tile-matching game played between two players on a grid of tiles.
The game’s goal is to create matching pairs from the tiles in your hand and the tiles that are on the table. The player who makes all of their pairs wins! A great thing about playing Mahjong is that it helps develop concentration, promotes logical thinking, and rewards keen observation.
The next game on this list is Scrabble, which is similar to Mahjong but has some differences. Scrabble is played with a letter-based board divided into a 15×15 grid of squares. It’s the best-selling word game of all time and was developed by Alfred Mosher Butts in 1938.
The game consists of players drawing tiles to create words on a board using letter values on the tiles to earn points. The points are earned through placement and length of words. Scrabble can improve cognitive abilities such as memory and attention span.
Chess is one of the most popular board games of all time. While it may seem like it is just for grandmas and grandpas, it’s actually quite popular among young people because it can improve concentration, problem-solving skills, memory, and strategic thinking.
Chess is also one of those brain games that help you develop good habits. For example, it will teach you how to plan strategically. Moreover, it will bring your attention to careful analysis and long-term planning and prevent you from making spontaneous moves.
Cybersecurity wargames are games where participants compete against adversaries in situations where cybersecurity teams respond to semantic URL attacks, data breaches, password cracking, and other cyber-related incidents.
These wargames provide an excellent opportunity to gain experience within simulated environments while allowing the players to test their skills through play. Students of the game will understand the challenges faced by teams responding to cyberattacks in the real world and learn how to respond to those challenges when placed in similar situations.
Speed reading is a skill that gains in popularity among both young and older people. It is due to its efficiency and helpfulness when it comes to studying and working efficiently. It involves reading material faster than usual without losing comprehension or understanding of the subject matter.
The human brain can process information at incredible speeds, but we need to train it to read faster. Being able to skip words and phrases when speed reading means that you can pick up key information while skimming over unnecessary details. As a result, it can save you valuable time when reading books or articles online.
There are many speed reading events being organized all over the world, including the Speed Reading Championships. The contestants are usually tasked with reading a book within a given time limit and then answering a few questions about it.
If you don’t know what competitive programming is — here’s a short summary! Competitive programming includes two types of competition formats: short-term and long-term. While short-term competitions take place over a few hours, long-term contests usually last for several days or months.
Programming competitions are usually held online, with contestants solving algorithmic problems posed by judges from companies or academic institutions. There are three main programming languages used for competitive programming: Java, C++, and Python.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, there are many mind sports that you can try. Nevertheless, all of them are excellent if you want to boost your cognitive abilities while having fun.
Some mind games, such as Mahjong or chess, have been played for centuries. On the other hand, games like speed reading, cybersecurity wargames, and competitive programming are relatively recent additions to the catalog of games that can sharpen your mind.
Choose what game suits you best, and start playing it. You will see what benefits it provides sooner than you might think. Good luck!
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