Cognitive Thinking

Cognitive thinking is the term used to describe the thought processes used to comprehend and resolve issues in games . It involves the capacity to reason, analyze, make judgements, and apply critical thinking abilities to solve problems and accomplish objectives.

Playing video games can require a variety of cognitive thinking abilities, such as spatial reasoning, pattern identification, memory, attention, and decision-making. These abilities let players set goals, evaluate the environment, devise plans of action, and design strategies. Depending on the game’s goals and its intended audience, games can be created to test various cognitive abilities. Puzzle games may emphasise problem-solving and spatial reasoning, for instance, whereas strategy games may call for players to make difficult choices based on scant information.

History Of cognitive Thinking in Games

Since the very beginning of video games, cognitive thinking has been a significant component of game design. Arcade games like Pac-Man and Donkey Kong in the 1970s and 1980s needed players to employ spatial reasoning and pattern recognition to go through mazes and avoid hazards.

The attractiveness of cognitive problems in games was underlined in the 1990s by the success of puzzle games like Tetris and Lemmings. To beat increasingly challenging stages in these games, players had to utilise critical thinking and plan ahead.

The level of intricacy of the cognitive problems in games increased along with game technology. Games like Myst and The 7th Guest, which were published in the middle of the 1990s, featured challenging riddles and realistic settings to test players’ spatial reasoning and problem-solving abilities. Massively multiplayer online games (MMOs) became popular in the 2000s, posing additional cognitive difficulties such social interaction and group problem-solving. Players have to cooperate in games like World of Warcraft and EVE Online in order to complete quests and overcome obstacles.

How does gaming affect cognitive skills?

According to a study of over 2,000 kids, those who admitted to playing video games for at least three hours a day outperformed those who had never played them on tests of working memory and impulse control. This study, which was just published in JAMA Network Open, examined data from the continuing Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study, which is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and other National Institutes of Health organisations.

Children who played video games for three or more hours per day had more brain activity in the areas of the brain linked to attention and memory than did kids who never played, according to functional MRI brain imaging studies. Additionally, children who played video games for at least three hours per day had decreased activity in the visual regions of the brain and more activity in the frontal brain areas linked to higher-order cognitive tasks.

Examples of Game having Cognitive Thinking

Trivia Games

All ages enjoy playing trivia games, but seniors who want to interact with family or friends while exercising their memory in an assisted living facility may find them to be particularly beneficial. Seniors are prompted by these games to recall earlier occasions or information they have gleaned over their lives.

One of the nicest aspects of playing a trivia game is the variety of categories from which players can select according to their interests. Seniors have the option of participating in a general trivia game or one that focuses on a particular topic, such as TV series, films, religion, pop culture, or music. They can also locate games like Trivial Pursuit – The Vintage Years (1920s-1950s) that are centred on particular time periods.


Seniors can use Sudoku puzzles to search for numerical patterns rather than visual or word patterns. Sudoku problems come at various levels of complexity and will keep your problem-solving abilities sharp. Seniors who complete puzzles will be inspired to continue and complete more. A book of Sudoku puzzles is also among the more affordable cognitive activities that seniors can purchase.

Board Games

Everyone enjoys playing board games! Board games are entertaining, but they also keep elders’ minds busy. Chess and checkers are two excellent strategic games for exercising the mind. They demand that players weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each move, foresee their opponents’ moves, and devise a game plan. Clue and Sorry! are two examples of classic board games that can be enjoyable and advantageous for seniors.

Seniors can benefit from additional mental exercise and amusement by playing cognitive games or engaging in creative activities. These games can be a terrific method for seniors to stay entertained and take pleasure in their daily lives.


Cognitive thinking is still a key component of game design today, with many well-known titles including difficult riddles, tactical choice-making, and difficult problem-solving as part of their gameplay. The limits of cognitive difficulty in games are still being pushed, resulting in fresh and inventive gameplay experiences for gamers.

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