Monday, March 16, 2009

8 Great Games to Improve and Practice Mouse Skills

Games are a great way for new computer users to get acquainted with this new-and-sometimes-scary environment. Games are a fun distraction, that can also help the player upgrade his or hers basic computer skills. This is true for all levels of computer users - from mere beginners to advanced users - anyone can benefit from a good game.

Recently I found myself giving computer lessons to adults over 60 years old. Some of them are totally new to the computer world. One of the most difficult skills for them to master, is the use of a mouse - pointing, clicking, double-clicking, right clicking and dragging. For regular users, it's a natural thing. For those who take their first mousy steps, it's not that obvious.

So, I have assembled a list of simple games, that don't require a lot of thinking or strategics, to help new computer users practice the basic mouse skills they need for every-day computer use.

  1. Bubble Shooter (Point and Click, Mouse movement and accuracy) - Serious gamers will ridicule this one, but it's a lovely, simple game that really requires just the movement of the mouse. It's also an easy, rather addictive game, which makes sure the player won't stop playing too soon.

  2. Solitaire (Drag and Drop) - One can only guess how many work hours have gone to waste because of this heinous game. It's not very complicated and it's great for practicing drag and drop with your mouse - a skill which isn't easy to master if you are a new computer user. It's also available on any Windows computer.

  3. Same Game (Double Click) - Simple and easy, and helps a user practice quick double-clicking.

  4. Pong (Mouse movement, Speed) - Oldie, goldie and very useful for when you need to practice mouse movement, improve working speed and enhance hand-eye connection.

  5. Sheep Dash (Reaction Time) - Sometimes users find it hard to connect between the eye and hand movement. This game enables the player to speed up their reaction time and to improve hand-eye connection.

  6. The Maze (Dragging and Accuracy) - This is a generic game that has many forms. Basically, you have to carefully drag the dot with your mouse in order to pass through the maze. It requires precision and concentration. For intermediate users.

  7. Music Catch 2 (Mouse movement and accuracy) - Another great game for intermediate users. It only requires of you to move around with the mouse - no clicking is necessary. However, you have to be rather quick and accurate - and it becomes more and more challenging as you advance. Plus - cool music :-)

  8. Diner Dash (Multitasking, Time Management and Speed) - This game is actually for more advanced users. Use it to learn time management, multi-tasking and improving the speed of your mouse movement.


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