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Are you a gamer?

I am NOT -- except, sometimes. We bought our first Atari game system around 1979. That was definitely not my thing, though my husband and children loved it! It has been followed over the years by many other game systems, few of which ever caught my attention. Somehow, I am not into first person shooters and the other styles of games that are on most gaming consoles don't do much for me.

However, on my computer, I do have a folder of games. They tend to be be puzzle, word and card games. Over the years, I have learned the importance of games in working with computer users, particularly older users. We must train our eyes to see details such as links and buttons on web pages, icons and words in application menus and small details in general on the computer screen.
Are you a gamer?

I am NOT -- except, sometimes. We bought our first Atari game system around 1979. That was definitely not my thing, though my husband and children loved it! It has been followed over the years by many other game systems, few of which ever caught my attention. Somehow, I am not into first person shooters and the other styles of games that are on most gaming consoles don't do much for me.

However, on my computer, I do have a folder of games. They tend to be be puzzle, word and card games. Over the years, I have learned the importance of games in working with computer users, particularly older users. We must train our eyes to see details such as links and buttons on web pages, icons and words in application menus and small details in general on the computer screen.

I remember when we gave my mother-in-law her first computer. She just could not find the details. I put a copy of Solitaire on her computer. At first she could not win. She missed the playable cards and so she lost hand after hand. In a few week of play, things changed. She was much more aware of details and soon she was regularly winning. I also noticed that I got fewer and fewer calls to follow along on a web page or in an application to complete tasks.

While teaching classes for my user group, Washington Apple Pi, I noted that games helped our new users. However, not everyone loves Solitaire. Some people enjoy puzzles while others like word games. I attended a lecture series on The Older Learner and several of the speakers emphasized that doing puzzles help to keep our minds sharp.

A few month ago, Chuck Joiner, the host of the MacVoices podcast interviewed Brian Ball of MacZot, a web site that features a new piece of shareware each day. These applications are offered at a discount price for one day only. Recently, the deal of the day was for two games from the MacGameStore.com. One was a new version of an old classic puzzle game, Super Collapse. The other was Rainforest Adventure, an exciting variation of Bejeweled.

The best part about the MacGameStore is that you can download their games and try them for one hour of play before you buy them. I should NEVER have downloaded Rainforest Adventure! I stayed up way to late trying to solve the puzzles and the next morning, I had a long conference call that did not require my full attention, so once again, I found myself clicking away, trying to solve those darn puzzles. The longer I play, the better I am getting. It should not be long before I make it through the entire game! The next time I have a bored grandchild visiting, I play to sit them down for a bit of screen play!

So if you need help in "seeing" things on your computer screen, if you are a bit bored, or if you have children or grandchildren to entertain, check out the games at the MacGameStore. I highly recommend Rainforest Adventure.

If you would like to learn of software bargains for your Mac, put MacZot in your bookmark bar, and if you would like to listen to some great podcasts, subscribe to MacVoices in iTunes. Tell your new friends that Pat over at Bob " Dr. Mac" LeVitus Consulting recommended them!

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