Games That Improve Focus
Between our busy schedules and the electronic gadgetry frequently distracting us, we can all benefit from finding ways to improve our focus. This is true for young children, older adults, couch potatoes, and world class athletes.
Few of us are operating at maximum brain potential. Games can provide an effective and enjoyable means of improving our focus, with some of the electronic games now offering amazing technology to do so.
Selecting a Game
There are many factors to take into consideration when selecting games that will help improve focus. To begin with, age appropriateness needs to be determined. There are excellent resources available to help with this, like Barbara Sher’s book, “Attention Games,” which suggests games by age categories. Individual preferences and needs are also key to capturing a person’s attention most fully.
This is particularly true when dealing with learning disabilities, brain injuries, or diagnoses such as ADHD. Researching which games lend themselves well to such individual needs will help ensure a better outcome. Will a one-on-one game work best or a team game, a classic board game or an interactive computer game? The choices can seem endless, and at times, confusing.
What Research Shows
Improved focus has been found to result from a wide variety of games, from playing a card game of solitaire to a vigorous team game of soccer. It can come about through the use of small or large motor skills.
There has been considerable debate over the effect of electronic gaming, and screen time in general, on brain activity – notably focus. While excessive electronic screen time has been found to have a negative impact on brain function, studies have found some electronic gaming to have a very beneficial impact on brain function and focus. Do your research to see which games get positive ratings in this regard.
John Ratey’s research, presented in his book, “Spark,” has found exercise to have a positive impact on improved focus. Similarly, Richard Louv’s research, “Last Child in the Woods,” has documented the dramatic positive change brought about by outdoor activity in nature.
Combined, this research supports games involving aerobic exercise and/or games played outdoors in natural settings to maximize brain function. With this in mind, see what creative combinations you can devise in choosing games.
Sophisticated Electronic Games
When considering games to improve focus, don’t overlook the impressive array of electronic games which have integrated biofeedback, neurofeedback, and/or brain entrainment technologies.
Wild Divine and Heart Math are two of the more popular games in this genre and worth checking out as examples of how sophisticated electronic gaming has become. Many of these games provide instantaneous feedback on focus, monitoring such functions as brainwaves, heart rate, galvanic skin response, and/or skin temperature.
There are many types of effective games to choose from for all ages. Keep in mind, different needs and different settings lend themselves to different games. Diversifying you choices helps to keep the goal of enhancing focus fun.
Experiment with which games produce the best results for you. In the case of children, observe changes in their ability to focus. Ask for their input or their teachers’ to assess what is working. Monitor your own progress and when necessary, seek out the guidance of a professional for further feedback.
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