Why Solitaire is the Best Game to Play Online

Why Solitaire is the Best Game to Play Online

Dario Lavrisha, Contributor

In the past fifty years there has been a massive uptake in the playing of video games with youth and older generations. Many SRHS students play video games in class out of boredom and or addiction. What is the best game for these students? Can we use their procrastinating behavior to help them in a way? My solution is solitaire. 

Solitaire has stayed alive for thirty out of the fifty years of video games. One reason for its long life is that a player doesn’t need someone to play with. Solitaire was first launched on Microsoft Windows 3.0 and is still played by thirty-five million people per month with an average of fifty-five million games per day. It was developed to show new computer users how to use a mouse in an addictive way. 

Today many kids play video games in class, not surprisingly it isn’t uncommon to see solitaire being played by older students. Diego Tolliver, a SRHS senior, confessed to this, “[That] because of it’s easy access, you can just play it casually in class while doing work and when done with work too.” He finished by saying many of his friends play video games and in class they play solitaire when bored.

Despite it being used by students as a distraction it has many benefits. This includes soothing the mind, the entertainment factor, it helps with memory retention, improves mental skills, teaches life lessons, and promotes a healthy competitive attitude. 

While playing solitaire it naturally relaxes the body and brain, you end up in a meditative state. It is unlike other games where it doesn’t require a high level of attention, it helps relax the brain and dissolve stress. This is because it is a low risk game and can be very entertaining without the sense of failure, boredom, and frustration. While playing, if a mistake is made one can simply undo and rethink their idea. This allows for critical thinking and not a lot of risk taking so many players have steep learning curves. Solitaire as a single player game is great for alone time, with its simplicity and low attentiveness it helps players disconnect from their real world problems. A break from the world.

I myself have noticed subtle improvements in the game and improved memory and mental skills. Having a good memory isn’t required to win the game but can be useful for strategizing and completing the game in a timely manner. Mentally it is not very taxing but the player needs to still analyze the cards into their categories such as suits, numbers, and available cards. Doing this helps the player plan future moves that will decrease the amount of moves and time it takes to complete the game. By repeating the process players can improve their scores and mental skills to more quickly perform these tasks. 

This game is very popular with the older generations as they are retired and need activities to exercise their minds throughout the day. Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium used solitaire in a study to find mild cognitive impairment (MCI). This is characterized by the Mayo Clinic as the stage between the expected cognitive decline of normal aging and the more serious decline of dementia. It’s associated with problems in memory, language, thinking, or judgment. Currently another study by a hospital in Leuven Belgium is looking at whether Solitaire can be used in assessing cognitive performance through meaningful play. 

Solitaire and many other mind games are often associated with time wasting and procrastination. However, it can teach valuable life lessons such as delayed gratification. While playing, new players may want to quickly sort through cards making sure they are going as fast as possible. While more experienced players evaluate all the possible options picking the best solution for long turn purposes. This lesson in the game and in life are important to succeed. Another lesson would be taking a step back to move forward. This is possible in solitaire as it is a low risk game, but it is a hard decision sometimes in life and solitaire is the perfect training ground to develop this skill. 

With all of these benefits clearly solitaire is the best game for students to play. 

Archer Glickstein, a SRHS student, agrees with this sentiment and comments, “There is a lot of chance to it, but it also is some skill. It’s like a puzzle. ”

He is one of a few young people that enjoy this game. With video games being a very current and an ever growing topic in young generations it is amazing to see someone playing solitaire with the vast amount of different options of video games.

Tolliver writes, “It’s really satisfying to match the cards up and there’s a lot of strategy involved in making sure you have the right cards to stack.”

Personally I have been playing solitaire for about 5 years and I never get tired of it. With Solitaire online there are various different modes and new styles of plays that are now easier to learn and play. Few students play solitaire and infusing the solitaire back into the younger generation could help grow their minds and help keep stress levels of students lowered.