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The phrase “perception games” can be broadly applied to any sort of game that aids some aspect of a person’s perception. Games can be group-based, paper-based, or electronic. Some focus on visual perception, while others hone in on sensory or auditory perception. Specialized games for individuals with learning or behavioral disabilities tend to focus on societal perception and self-awareness. In nearly all cases, the “games” are really exercises disguised as a fun activity, such that learning becomes second nature over time.
There are many types of perception. While most games target visual skills, auditory and sensory perception are also important pieces. More often than not, perception games targeted to sounds and touch are designed either for very young, often pre-verbal children, or for individuals with disabilities.
Many of the most popular perception games are marketed to the general public as means of sharpening acuity and boosting brain power. Activities in this category often focus on visual perception and include logic puzzles, word and letter recognition, and patter identification. They often come in the form of flash cards or electronic games, many of which can be played online or on hand-held gaming consoles. Most are considered educational.
Educational games are often designed to help children develop fundamental visual perception skills. As children grow, their brains tend to seek out patterns and make quick deductive calculations. Playing perception games with children is often lauded as a good way to kick-start their cognitive ability and to prepare them for greater spatial reasoning and math-based success later in life.
Maintaining perception is often just as important as developing perception, and games exist for this purpose, too. Most are devised with the idea that participating will help people from losing the reasoning skills they have built over a lifetime. Perception activities that keep participants on their toes drawing connections, matching sets, or finding patterns are often believed to help preserve brain function, if not counteract deterioration outright. For this reason, perception games tend to be popular not just with the elderly, but also with middle-aged adults who fear aging.
Auditory perception games usually require participants to match sounds with pictures, or group similar sounds together. The goal is to help players develop and hone their ability to distinguish sounds, as well as to anticipate certain noises. Similarly, sensory perception games center on tactile abilities, often challenging participants to identify things that they can touch, but not see. Games in all categories are designed to sharpen mental acuity in a given area.
Another category of perception games exists not to sharpen or preserve skills, but rather to correct real or suspected problems with perception. Individuals with learning or developmental disabilities often have a harder time than most perceiving the world, both in terms of societal norms and concrete truths. Games geared toward this group of people often focus on finding fun ways of developing perception, usually in one-on-one or small group settings. Most are based on a reward or incentive structure that encourages correct answers and attention to detail.
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