What is skill gaming? 5 facts about today’s hottest hidden hobby

(BPT) – Whether it’s during a lunch break or just relaxing, more and more people are turning to casual, mobile games to interject moments for entertainment and unwinding into their days. Beyond bragging rights and achievement, many are also enjoying paid competitive gaming contests as part of the fun. According to Game Taco, the parent company of skill-based gaming platform WorldWinner, nearly 46% of mobile gamers are either currently playing or are interested in playing skill games.

By definition, skill games require the player to use their physical or mental abilities and come in many forms. Traditional skill games include familiar favorites like Atari Breakout, solitaire and chess; word games like Scrabble or recently released Word Slots and even arcade games like Bejeweled. All of these games require players to flex their abilities instead of relying on luck when competing in real money tournaments and for the chance to win cash and prizes. Plus, all can be played on a smartphone or PC.

Still not sure if skill-gaming is for you? Check out these five ways you can benefit from playing these fun games.

1. Sharpen your skills and have fun

Playing skill-based mobile games can help players improve natural abilities and acquire new skills while having fun and, in some cases, winning money. Mobile games of skill require strategic planning, problem-solving, spatial awareness and other skills that are handy in everyday situations, extending their benefits beyond that initial sense of accomplishment. There’s science to back this up; recent studies demonstrate playing digital games can improve everything from leadership aptitude to collaboration and work ethic.

2. Join the craze

Digital gaming has almost always had a reputation for being most popular amongst men, but studies paint a much more even gender divide, especially on mobile.

According to a recent market research survey by AdColony and DISQO, the number of men and women playing mobile games is fairly equal. In some cases, women take the lead: a consumer insights report by Newzoo found that when it comes to mobile games, women are more likely to play more often than their male counterparts.

Skill-based mobile games encourage players to be social and find community with others. The category has the widest player demographic, with one-third of players over 45 and it appeals to both men and women. Best of all, players are matched by skill level, so there’s always someone for you to play with.

3. Relax at home or on the go

Mobile games are a great way to unwind in-between activities or at the end of a long day. The same AdColony and DISQO survey found that 47% of mobile gamers play games to relax. Since mobile games can be accessed on your phone anytime, anywhere, they’re a convenient way to take a break from daily responsibilities and stressors. Skill games, particularly, are attractive because they are created to be played in bursts, providing you the opportunity to inject short doses of entertainment and joy throughout your daily routine.

4. A workout for your brain

Just like your muscles, your brain also needs a fitness routine; research shows keeping your mind active can help prevent cognitive impairment as you age. Incorporating skill-based mobile games into your day is a simple, low-cost way to strengthen your strategic building, problem-solving and decision-making abilities. Skill-based games encourage players to adapt to changing situations and find creative solutions while challenging memory, attention span and critical thinking — all on a device they already own.

5. Earn money just by playing

Turn your entertainment into a side hustle. Many skill-based mobile games allow players to earn cash by playing or competing against others. The prizes are big enough to go around; WorldWinner, one of the leading companies in the space, has already awarded more than $1.5 billion to players.

Adding to the appeal, players can win from a large list of games. To use the WorldWinner example again, players can put extra cash in their pocket by selecting from their expanding library of games, including newly released entries like Word Slots, as well classic favorites like Bingo and premium titles like Wheel of Fortune®, TRIVIAL PURSUIT, YAHTZEE® and Boggle.

Skill-based mobile games are popular because they have something for everyone. Whether you want to have fun, relax, boost your cognitive skills or even earn some cash, there’s a game (or two) out there that’s just right for you.