Why We Love Word Games

Word Workout

Word games have been around for a long time and for most of us, they have been an active and present part of our lives. As kids and now as adults.

You may be wondering what exactly counts as a word game?

Word games exist in numerous shapes and sizes. Some of the games which you may have grown up playing can be identified as word games. To name a few:

  • Hangman
  • Scrabble
  • Pictionary
  • Boggle
  • Upwords
  • Crosswords
  • Word Search.

Even though the above mentioned come in a variety of forms, they all have one thing in common, they exercise your language, vocabulary and thinking skills.

Okay, so they actually have three things in common… But who’s counting?

English Language Learners

Minoo Alemi, researcher of the study The impact of word games on expanding learner’s vocabulary knowledge investigated the impact of word games as a “reinforcing device on improving student’s vocabulary knowledge.” Alemi conducted a series of tests on a group of students, with the games:

  • Twenty Questions
  • Charades
  • Definition Game’s
  • Passwords
  • Crossword Puzzles.

Through her research Alemi found “the calculated t exceeded the t-critical value, confirming the positive effect of word games on expanding learners’ vocabulary.” Demonstrating how beneficial word games can be for English language learners.

Peak’s Word Games

In collaboration with Peak, the City University of New York produced a study on Computerized cognitive training in young adults with depressive symptoms: Effects on mood, cognition, and everyday functioning.

Among the groups created, a verbal group was made to train participant’s verbal ability. Participants were asked to play:

  • Word-A-Like
  • Word Pairs
  • Word Path
  • Word Fresh
  • Babble Bots.

Participants played the above games for a period of eight weeks and were evaluated before and after the test. The evaluation results showed that for the verbal group, “there was significant improvement in all primary measures over time.”

Primary measures include: depressive symptoms, everyday functioning , processing speed and executive functioning. Improvements were also seen in cognitive skills and processing of partakers.

Bring Back The Youth

We know the best way to ward off age-related cognitive decline is to train your brain and build brain reserve, but did you know that crossword puzzles help to do this by making your brain younger?

One study produced by experts at the University of Exeter in collaboration with King’s College London found, people who report completing crossword puzzles regularly have been shown to have better brain function later in life.

Experts analysed data from 17,000 healthy people aged 50 and over, through an online trial and found “people who engage in word puzzles have brain function equivalent to ten years younger than their age, on tests of grammatical reasoning speed and short term memory accuracy”.

Who’da thunk it?

Word games are so much more than just a way to occupy spare time. They’re enjoyable ways of expanding your vocabulary and language skills, whilst working on your cognition. What’s more is that word games are easily accessible and keep your brain feeling younger for years to come.

For this reason we include word games as a crucial part of our Daily Workouts on the Peak app.

Download the app today and see for yourself!

Sources Cited:




Sajal Azam

One thought on “Why We Love Word Games

  1. Considering you are seeming to be trying to help people with their language capabilities I am at a loss to see the sentence “Who’da thunk it?” What the hell is that ?

Share your thoughts

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.