Why We Were So Obsessed With Solitaire as Kids, and How It Can Be Good for You Now

Curiosities
11 months ago

With the rise of home computers and the Internet in the ’80s and ’90s came countless fun hobbies, and digital gaming easily became one of the most popular forms. Everyone remembers spending hours playing Solitaire as a child, hoping to win and see the cards pop out of their decks in colorful waves. Well, you might want to get back to it, as research has shown that playing video games has benefits for people of all ages.

Children who play video games are better with cognitive tasks.

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A 2022 study has reached conclusions that might put most parents of young kids at ease and make playing games like Solitaire Social nothing but a joy. The study — which involved 2,217 children, the largest group of kids in research of this kind — found that playing video games might improve children’s cognitive skills and help with their impulse control.

The results were achieved by seeing how well kids who play 3 hours or more a day performed in a series of tasks compared to those who don’t play video games at all. The tasks focused on memory and impulse control, and the author of the study, Bader Chaarani, confirmed that the young gamers did better on the tests and “have more brain activations in regions linked with attention and working memory.”

For adults, being a gamer can have emotional benefits.

When it comes to grown-ups, gaming seems to be beneficial as well. Actually, video games of certain genres might help improve the psychological state of adults, says research. Out of the 2,107 people who were surveyed, 88.4% of them thought that gaming improved their emotional well-being in some way.

In fact, various research shares the same sort of findings, with one study stating that commercial video games played for entertainment have a similar positive impact on mental health as games that are specifically designed for therapy.

And that’s not all.

Gaming also positively affects seniors.

The idea that digital gaming is exclusively for the young is long gone. Between 2016 and 2019, the number of people age 50 and over who play video games grew from 40.2 million to 50.6 million, according to a survey. And they too can reap the benefits of being gamers, even if they only turn to it occasionally.

Different research has shown that there’s a positive impact on those who are older and play video games. One study in particular, which gathered 140 seniors between the ages of 63 and 92 years old, claims that the positive impact of playing happens for both regular and casual gamers. And it specifically found that they have greater emotional well-being and social functioning, as well as reduced levels of depression, than those who never play.

So, all in all, it seems like the good old days of sitting awhile at the computer playing Solitaire should make a return!

Bonus: The characters in The Office played Solitaire throughout every season.

Even for fans of the American series, The Office, there’s one fascinating detail they might have missed. The characters of the show, especially Creed, could often be found playing Solitaire in the background throughout different scenes.

In fact, the actor who portrayed Creed, who shares his name with his character, said the computers on set were completely functional and people would often take care of personal matters during shooting. When they were on camera, they simply switched to the game in order to keep their matters private. “You pretty much got used to playing Spider Solitaire,” Creed revealed in an interview, where he jokingly added that he had played “a thousand or so” games by the end of the show. “I got really good at that game,” he said.

Bright Side gets commissions for game plays made through the links in this post.

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