10/20/2007 08:00 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Carole's Bookmarks: From Gaming To Giving

As I write this column I am sitting in my mother's hospital room in Santa Monica. My mom is going on 86 years old, and I was thinking today as I drove to the hospital how glad I am I that nine years ago I taught her how to "go online."

Originally she learned how to send and receive email; next she was getting photos, and she learning how to share them with friends and family. I also introduced her to a number of online games; eventually she settled on her very favorite, Yahoo Gin. Since then, my mom has played 67,379 games of Gin. She plays with people from all over the world, she tells them most of them to "play faster," and is always looking to improve her score.

Millions of people all over the world play similar games. It is not for money or prizes because on most basic game sites there are none. Then why?

Some people love the mental stimulation that word games or puzzles provide. Other people love to play mindless little addictive games that pass the time between periods of activity, and yet still others play in order to have a friendly (or sometimes not-so-friendly) competition among friends. But no matter why it is that you play the games that you play they can be so addictive that you find yourself taking up most of your day playing them. Here is a breakdown on why people play games, perhaps you'll recognize yourself into one of these categories.

1. The Time Waster This person plays games just to pass the time, either at work or at home when they have nothing better to do. The problem with being a time waster is that the game playing often spills over into the periods of time that should be productive.

2. Busy Minds The person who plays games for the stimulation needs to have something that is constantly occupying their minds at all times. These people generally like puzzles, word games and sudoku and they play them addictively.

3. The Competer This person plays games to compete against other players. They often find themselves frustrated if things aren't going their way with the game. They don't care if they play against someone online or if they play with them in their living rooms, they just love competing.

If you find yourself in one of these categories there is only one thing that you can do, play more games.

Just ask my mom!

I hadn't heard of till about a month ago. I guess I didn't even think about the possibility of losing all my documents, all my photographs, all my bookmarks and all my music but I learned it happened a lot.

Enter, Mozy, the website that allows you to sleep more easily knowing all your files are backed up, encrypted and safe on their servers.

"Current statistics show that one in every ten hard drives fail each year. The cost of recovering a failed hard drive can exceed $7,500, and success is never guaranteed.

Mozy is a simple and safe way to back up all the important stuff on your computer. A copy of your data is stored in a secure, remote location for safekeeping, so that in the event of disaster your data is still retrievable.

Mozy makes online backup possible for everyone with an affordable, secure solution that's easy to use. Check out the news section to see all the nice awards they have received and what the experts are saying about Mozy."

Last week our readers posted a number of "Giving Back" sites that were worth noting. I liked a lot of them, but one member, Mbjesq suggested, and I responded immediately. encourages people to give time instead of money. This is an excellent idea; particularly for the people who feel it is easier to give money than time; the only way we grow in our desire to give back is to do the harder thing. is an experiment in the joy of giving. Their services enable inspired people to contribute in meaningful ways to the world around them. Together, they believe we can "be the change we wish to see in the world."

From Charity Focus: "Creating a better world starts with inner change. In that spirit we host services ranging from inspiring daily emails and weekly excerpts from wisdom traditions to good news videos and interviews with social artists.

If you would like to roll up your sleeves and start helping out, we host lots of volunteer opportunities ranging from local events and online volunteering to anonymous acts of kindness.
For small organizations that are already serving the community, we leverage volunteers and incubate small projects that will further empower their work. We offer a wide range of technological tools for "helping others help others."

As a member of the Huffington Post, let's do our share of Remember RAoKs, each day.

A random act of kindness is a purportedly selfless act performed by a person or persons wishing to either assist or cheer up a stranger. There will generally be no reason other than to make people smile, or be happier. Either spontaneous or planned in advance, "RAoK"s are encouraged by various communities. An oft-cited example of a random act of kindness is when paying the toll at a toll booth on a highway, pay the toll for the vehicle behind you, too.

I hope everyone enjoys their weekend.