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DS Game Could Stave off Dementia

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the xbox-cures-leprosy dept.

34

Gamasutra reports that a hospital in Japan has begun renting out DSes and suggesting the title Brain Training to older patients, in an effort to stave off dementia. From the article: "Sixty-seven year old retiree Isamu Shishido is quoted as saying, 'I don't want to end up some crazy old man. I want to play a little everyday before going to bed.' Neurosurgeon Dr Takeshi Kihara comments that, 'The game won't cure dementia. But it's a good form of stimulation, especially for old people living alone.'"

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34 comments

Genius (2, Insightful)

porkpiehat (941924) | more than 8 years ago | (#14859226)

Nintendo knows what it's doing. Lots of rich oldies to tap into!

Re:Genius (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14865810)

When they release an Atlantic City and Vegas gambling game where the bottom screen is the slot machine and the top are the buckets of quarters you need to make sure dont get stolen, you know they'll have a hit!

Re:Genius (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14866193)

They would do even better with a slot game where you turned the DS sideways and each screen had a slot machine on it so they can play two at once. Those old people are slot hogging bastards.

I, for one... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14859297)

I, for one, welcome our better, faster, stronger elderly overlords.

Re:I, for one... (1)

1337W422102 (883430) | more than 8 years ago | (#14863566)

I, for one, would say you'd have to be demented if you want to purchase a DS. But since the hospital is merely renting them out, my comment doesn't apply much. The elderly might enjoy games, but how about speaking to other human beings instead? A nice conversation would probably be more effective than a round of Asteroids. I don't know, I'm just saying.

Well I hope these games are more demanding than... (4, Interesting)

Expert Determination (950523) | more than 8 years ago | (#14859322)

...bingo because 90% of the population of Britain over 65 seems to play that and they have the intellectual capacity of a turnip. Old people in Britain are very depressing. They seem to be trained, from birth, to believe that they will be incapable by time they retire and when the time comes to retire they are capable of nothing. One of the things that amazed me when I came to the US was the zest for life of older people. Jogging along the roads, working out at the gym, hiking the trails, doing tai chi, travelling round the world, having fun eating out at restaurants, at the movies, whatever. It's fantastic if video games can keep people motivated to do something with their lives and keep stretching those neurons and I hope it catches on in Britain.

Re:Well I hope these games are more demanding than (4, Insightful)

lurvdrum (456070) | more than 8 years ago | (#14859482)

Whoa, hang on a minute. I really think your statistics are baseless. I would contend that there is a very large body of older and retired people who lead very active lives in the UK, doing all the things you mention of the US inhabitants, and more. Yes, of course there are some older people who have started to find it difficult to do as much as they would like, or for whatever reason have drawn themselves into their shells and do little but watch TV and play bingo, but to extrapolate from this that 90% of the UK's older population has the intellectual capacity of a turnip is a little extreme. Am I to infer that because a large percentage of people under the age of twenty eat regularly at McBurgers and the like, hardly a sensible lifestyle choice,that 90% of all younger people have the brain capacity of a turnip as well?

In a word... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14861507)

...yes.

Re:Well I hope these games are more demanding than (1)

triso (67491) | more than 8 years ago | (#14862725)

...that 90% of all younger people have the brain capacity of a turnip as well?
Speaking on behalf of turnips everywhere--I object to that last statement.

Roger Mellie
Speaker to turnips.

Skewed sample for observation (2, Informative)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#14859565)

"One of the things that amazed me when I came to the US was the zest for life of older people. Jogging along the roads, working out at the gym, hiking the trails, doing tai chi, travelling round the world, having fun eating out at restaurants, at the movies, whatever."

Apparently you didn't see the all the older people in the US languishing at home watching television making no effort to get out in public. In the US, you only see the active seniors out and about.

I'd be willing to bet that if you observed seniors in the US the same way you observed them in the UK, you have opinions of them just as bad, if not worse. Especially if you got out of the major metros in the US.

Re:Skewed sample for observation (2, Interesting)

Expert Determination (950523) | more than 8 years ago | (#14859701)

I'd be willing to bet that if you observed seniors in the US the same way
How could I observe seniors differently? (Serious, not rhetorical question BTW) I'm reporting on observations of people around me on the streets, at the gym, in places that provide entertainment and so on. Apart from seeing the aging members of my family, in their homes, in the UK, I don't think I'm observing differently between the UK and US. Older British people seem to believe that they're not allowed to have fun. Just look at how older Brits dress - drab grey clothing. Where I live in California I see older people, in places like the supermarkets or on the streets, still trying to look glitzy and glamourous. At the gym I see old guys who you'd think could barely walk still trying to pump iron (maybe not the heaviest weights). I'm amazed by these people and seeing them is incredibly motivating.

BTW I'm in the San Francisco Bay Area - I expect this is area is atypical of the US as a whole.

Re:Skewed sample for observation (2, Insightful)

Mabonus (185893) | more than 8 years ago | (#14859850)

"BTW I'm in the San Francisco Bay Area - I expect this is area is atypical of the US as a whole."
Oh manohman if I had mod points that line would get one from me for FUNNY!

Re:Skewed sample for observation (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#14860032)

Hmm, you should check out the East Coast (outside of NYC), the Midwest, the South... anywhere but the West coast, and you'll have a completely different set of observations.

Drugged up OAPs (3, Insightful)

ciw42 (820892) | more than 8 years ago | (#14859976)

Hell, I live in the UK and went to play Bingo a couple of times not so long ago (long story, not interesting, let's leave it at that) and I tell you, those grannies (I don't think there was a single grandpa in the place) must be popping some serious amphetamines.

The speed they were calling out the numbers was too much for me - a young and agile 33 year old - and I was only playing four cards. Some of them were playing a dozen or more at once!

By the time she's bought the necessary drugs and paid for their bingo cards, it's no wonder grandma can't afford to eat on what little pension she gets.

Re:Well I hope these games are more demanding than (1)

kahei (466208) | more than 8 years ago | (#14865322)


I think the relative strength of the British and American health system has a lot to do with this.

Re:Well I hope these games are more demanding than (1)

mikael (484) | more than 8 years ago | (#14866178)

Because they can't really afford to do anything else, especially if they are dependent on the state pension, and are forced to choose between heating and eating.

UK companies don't seem to want to employ anyone over the age of 45 (or even 30 for that matter). The only difference between the early retirees in their mid-50's and the "benefits scroungers" is that the first set had generous company pension schemes, and the latter didn't.

Jesus would agree (-1, Troll)

Mr.Dippy (613292) | more than 8 years ago | (#14859379)

If the Bible has taught anything, and it hasn't, it's that old people are worthless and that they should spend their remaining days watching the Price is Right, yelling at kids who are on their lawns, eating at the Sizzler, and such and such.

MOD PARENT UP (1)

repruhsent (672799) | more than 8 years ago | (#14861267)

He speaketh the truth

Re:MOD PARENT UP (0, Offtopic)

Mr.Dippy (613292) | more than 8 years ago | (#14861291)

Thank you! Apparently nobody has a sense of humor anymore on Slashdot.

Re:MOD PARENT UP (1)

idleprocess (606281) | more than 8 years ago | (#14861740)

It's one thing to bring up religion, in a humorous fasion, when it's in the context of the article.

It's another entirely to say, out of the blue, "If the Bible has taught anything, and it hasn't, it's that old people are worthless and that they should spend their remaining days watching the Price is Right, yelling at kids who are on their lawns, eating at the Sizzler, and such and such."

That's just not funny and really, it's just plain dumb.

Re:MOD PARENT UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14865682)

Yes it is, and really, no it's not.

No screens? (2)

U1timateZer0 (855425) | more than 8 years ago | (#14859431)

It's too bad there aren't any screenshots or further info. This game sounds quite interesting to me. I wonder if/when it will make its North American debut...

Re:No screens? (2, Informative)

rev063 (591509) | more than 8 years ago | (#14860015)

The release info is right there in the article:
It is due to be released in North America as Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day in April, and in Europe as Brain Training: How Old Is Your Brain? in May.

"Whatja playing, grampa?" (5, Funny)

smaerd (954708) | more than 8 years ago | (#14859463)

"The goddamned Metroids won't stay still so I can hit them with my fricken ice beam! Gah! I guess I'll just cyber with your gramma instead."

Re:"Whatja playing, grampa?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14859581)

Augh! Horrible mental images! I'm scarred for life just reading your post, I shudder at what it would really do to a child!

Staring at a small screen with small controls (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 8 years ago | (#14859787)

Might not be the best solution for older people, IMHO.

However, playing a game that exercises your mind, is probably more helpful than watching the local TV news, which is mostly soundbites designed to invoke fear about things one can do little about.

I've noticed that many Japanese games not released in this country are more puzzle-oriented, less FPS, and hopefully other ones could be ported to US/EU versions.

Re:Staring at a small screen with small controls (2, Informative)

patio11 (857072) | more than 8 years ago | (#14863305)

These brain training games scarcely use the controls at all (and the make pretty good use of the game screen specifically aimed at folks with poor eyesight -- the games have essentially no interface visible and the entire real estate is devoted to say a sentence of text or two numbers or what have you). Everything uses the touch pen.

In one, you get a series of mathematical equations like 4 + 6 = ? And you have to fill in the answer. The trick is that immediately after revealing 4 + 6 one of the two will be covered up, and for the next problem one of the numbers (possibly the covered one) scrolls down while the next number is new (and then covered). Add in time pressure and what should be a simple task really vexes your short term recall. Another example is testing your ability to write some of the more obscure Japanese characters, which I suspect would be good brain excercize if my brain wasn't already pudding in that area.

mahjong (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14860037)

in Hong Kong, and most other parts of China, most old people kill time with Mahjong, which IMO is a great brain-exercise. it's a great way for old people to socialise as well.

Not really a game, and not really news (2, Informative)

Dekortage (697532) | more than 8 years ago | (#14865751)

This has been reviewed on IGN [ign.com] and G4TV [g4tv.com] , among others... way back in 2005.

And it's not your average game. More like math and reading "brain teasers" (no Mario involved).

You kids.... (1)

602 (652745) | more than 8 years ago | (#14869013)

Maybe a "Hey! You Kids Get Off My Lawn!" game?

(For the record, I enjoy the neighbors' kids playing on my lawn.)
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