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Learning For Fun: Games to Get You Thinking

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Sometimes you want to slump on the couch and enjoy a few mindless hours of video game nonsense, but other times you fancy something a little more enriching. The age old question of whether video games are good for us or not can be proved quite simply with these offerings. If you’re willing to put the work in and you play the right games, then of course video games can be good for us. Learning is much more fun when it’s interactive and video games can be just the thing to do that. Whether you want to work on thinking under pressure, your mathematical skills, or even pick up a new language, there are loads of games that can help you to get there. Here are some of the most popular below.

Online Poker

Poker can be a workout for your math muscles, especially if you start learning about pot odds. Working out fractions in this way can seem daunting at first, but when you start to get the hang of it you might find it quite satisfying. It’s possible to find legal online gambling in Pennsylvania on plenty of sites, so you can try out a game and see if you enjoy the mathematical side of poker. If it turns out that pot odds are a little too complex for you to get the hang of on your first try, then you might consider testing your memory by learning about hand rankings instead. These are the beginners ‘quick guide’ to getting good at poker and will help you learn when you’ve got a hand that’s worth playing or otherwise. Once you’ve learned all of your hand rankings off by heart, then you might be feeling confident enough to give pot odds another go.

Chess

If maths just isn’t for you, then you can leave poker alone for a while. Some brains are naturally better at certain things than others and it might be that you’re a logical thinker with an undiscovered talent.Chess could be a great game to practice in order to amplify your natural talents for logical thinking. If you’ve never played before then starting with a very basic mobile app that will allow you to learn by trial and error is one of the most effective ways of learning. Once you’ve got the basics down, you can start working on your decision making. Chess is a brilliant game for teaching you to keep cool under pressure, whilst simultaneously thinking through your options carefully. Practicing your opening moves is the best way to improve your game, as you’ll quickly begin to understand more complex tactics, like aggressive plays.

Language Learning Games

Whilst chess and poker weren’t necessarily designed as teaching methods, there are some games that were. Language learning games like Duolingo and Babbel have only been around for a few years, but they’re some of the most popular learning games around. Both work on a similar principle; they teach you a new language in the same way that you would learn if you were picking it up as your first language. You can play short mini-games that will focus on teaching you some key words and then move further on into phrases. Duolingo is free and available for mobile, whilst Babbel is paid for and works best on PC. Whichever game you choose, you’ll be guaranteed not only to enjoy yourself, but also to be investing in a skill for life. A second language is one of the most valued traits by employers, so your little bit of downtime to enjoy a game here and there could really be an investment in your future, maybe even your future career.

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Christopher Stern
Christopher Stern is a Washington-based reporter. Chris spent many years covering tech policy as a business reporter for renowned publications. He has extensive experience covering Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, and other federal agencies. He is a graduate of Middlebury College. Email:[email protected]

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