It was Mark Twain who once said, "Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most." And everyone knows that as we age we are in danger of losing our mental acuity and function. Well, there's good news for online bingo players - research has found that online bingo may have mental health benefits that you would never have expected. Of course, to reap the benefits, you have to play your bingo cards right.
Here's the scoop, bingo players. The headline of a recent BBC News article states that playing Bingo actually "Boosts the Brain". It turns out that tests on bingo players revealed them to be more accurate than people who didn't play bingo. The tests measured a range of skills including memory, mental speed and the ability to glean information from their immediate environment. Bingo, it was shown, can help maintain and improve hand-eye co-ordination, a skill which typically declines with age.
The message we're getting is that it's not too late to learn and playing bingo can be part of the process. Up until recently, it was believed that once you got older, brain function deteriorates and you are unable to learn new skills. But, in the age of neuroplasticity, it is becoming more and more accepted that the adult brain is far more able to adapt and reprogram itself. This has far reaching implications for our mental health: instead of resigning ourselves to mental decline, we can take action and playing bingo can actually be part of the solution.
Critics of online bingo have been quick to say that sitting in front of a computer is a brain-dead activity. However the research shows that unlike games such as bridge or chess, bingo requires the player to react quickly and make speedy identification all within very specific time restrictions. Julie Winstone, the researcher responsible for the study, said that she regards bingo to be "just as valuable an activity to take part in as bridge, or doing puzzles." She added that bingo uses different processes in the brain and that bingo should not be dismissed, as has been the case in the past.
To get the full benefit when you play online bingo, make sure that you switch off the auto-daub function for a few of the games you play. This will ensure the full mental benefit and can be extremely challenging. And don't forget that chatting to your bingo buddies while watching your cards and listening for numbers can be pretty exhilitating, fun and a great mental workout! So, the next time someone scoffs at you because you're playing internet bingo, you can tell them with confidence to mind their own business while you mind your mind.