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Recent studies have shown a correlation between brain "gym" activities such as strategy and mathematical card games and increased mental aptitude
DERBY, ENGLAND, November 15, 2016 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Walter James, from Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, has just broken the world record for the highest ever Mensa score - and attributes his success to four weeks of almost non-stop solitaire playing.
The 39-year-old builder was at the pub with friends one night when they all agreed to a challenge - to undertake the Mensa IQ test in order to find out who was the most intelligent.
The date was set - one month later, giving the participants time to prepare and practise. At first, Walter was sceptical. "I've never put much stock in those kind of tests," he admitted. "I was never one for enjoying school, but I know how to get along in the world, so intelligence isn't everything."
But when friends started posting online about their attempts to boost their scores, Walter realised he needed to up his game in order to be in with a chance. He'd read online about the benefits of playing games to make your mind more agile, and decided to give the popular game of spider solitaire online a go, despite having never played online card games before.
"At first I just played a few games a day, different things," he recalls. "But then I felt like it was actually starting to make a difference, so I took time off work, cancelled all my evening plans and decided to give it a real big push."
Four weeks later, the results were in: and Walter was in for a massive shock. Not only did he completely out-smart his friends, he scored a perfect 161 - the highest score an adult can achieve on the Mensa test.
"I was amazed; I never thought it would make that much difference. I just wanted to beat the other guys."
And his recipe for success?
"Solitaire. It gets your brain working, figuring out strategies, but because there's the element of chance in there you never get totally fixated on the game, and losing doesn't feel so bad. It's the perfect balance of challenge and enjoyment" he says.
Recent studies have shown a correlation between brain 'gym' activities such as strategy and mathematical card games and increased mental aptitude, with gaming seen as a way to improve school attainment as well as a means of staving off conditions such as dementia.
But never has such a dramatic impact been observed.
So what's the future got in store for Walter?
Well, nothing much is changing. He's happy with his job, and doesn't see this achievement as having any impact, other than giving him bragging rights over his friends. Will he continue playing spider solitaire online?
"Absolutely. How can I not? It's such an enjoyable, accessible game - but now I can do it for fun, around my work and social time."
Spider Solitaire Online is a UK based company that makes a handful of card games on the Facebook platform. The game spider solitaire online has over 100k Monthly Users and is currently trending on Facebook. https://www.spidersolitaireonline,net
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