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Nintendo Keeps Wits and Reflexes Sharp

Zonk posted about 8 years ago | from the i've-always-thought-so dept.


PreacherTom writes "While not definitively proven, the concept that video games can stave off mental degradation in the elderly is gaining favor. 'Nintendo ... boast[s] that Brain Age was developed with the help of Dr. Ryuta Kawashima, a respected Japanese neuroscientist whose face pops up at the start of every game. Kawashima believes brains can be kept young and nimble through the rapid repetition of simple mental challenges. The game is wildly popular in Japan, and 4 million copies have been sold worldwide since Brain Age was introduced 15 months ago.'"

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Just another reason to buy Nintendo... (1, Redundant)

Mikachu (972457) | about 8 years ago | (#16119044)

...did we even need another one?


Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16119045)

See subject

Eh (2, Insightful)

LokiTD (951153) | about 8 years ago | (#16119049)

This post reads like an advertisement.

Re:Eh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16119069)

Welcome to Slashdot.

Re:Eh (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16119103)

im just a non-registered person here, but MOD PARENT UP.
zonk makes 4 posts a week:

1. pro-nintendo
2. anti-sony
3. pro-WoW
4. X is doomed/dying

Re:Eh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16119851)

Not seen a WoW thing for a while.

Nintendo's getting a lot of good press because they're doing some good things of late. Likewise, with Sony selling a console for $500-600, hiding malware on music CDs, failing in key areas (such as UMDs), etc, they're getting bad press because, well, that's the situation with Sony.

As for "X is doomed/dying", what recent posts of Zonk fit that category?

Re:Eh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16120298)

Re:Eh (2, Informative)

soupforare (542403) | about 8 years ago | (#16119629)

"You must be new here", I believe, is the correct response.

Whored articles on /. is tradition!

Brain Age (4, Funny)

pixelq (810218) | about 8 years ago | (#16119071)

That is a no brainer.

Why is this so surprising??? (4, Interesting)

WidescreenFreak (830043) | about 8 years ago | (#16119076)

Why is this being treated like it's a new issue? It's been known for years that keeping yourself active mentally keeps your alertness level up. Video games have been the subject of a lot of reports that the continual hand/eye coordination and continual exposure to numerous stimuli, like video, audio, reaction times, puzzle solutions, and so forth, keep the brain active and responsive. There are studies that eldery people who play things like crossword puzzles on a regular basis are generally more alert and have a better mental capacity than others their age who don't engage in such behaviors.

For crying out loud! Even Ronald Reagan thought during his presidency that the continual hand/eye coordination and quick thinking that were necessary with video games were good at keeping kids mentally alert! That fact that this dates back to RR means that this is 20 year old information. (Yeah, yeah, I know that he was a republican and therefore a target for knee-jerk, Slashdot ridicule, but no comments about ketchup or alzhimers, all right?)

Why .. oh why .. is this news to anyone?

Re:Why is this so surprising??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16119104)

but no comments about ketchup

We save those for John Kerry! Look at him, all covered in ketchup... That red bastard.

Re:Why is this so surprising??? (2, Insightful)

ocdude (932504) | about 8 years ago | (#16119115)

It's news to people who constantly bash video games as the source of all that is unholy in our society. Do you really think that people like Jack Thompson know or would care to know that video games just might be helpful?

Re:Why is this so surprising??? (1)

MuNansen (833037) | about 8 years ago | (#16119161)

I'm sure most videogame companies/advocates would like to forget Reagan as an example of keeping mentally fit :P

Re:Why is this so surprising??? (1)

Moridineas (213502) | about 8 years ago | (#16120828)

Wow, bashing someone for having the DISEASE Alzheimers. Really classy there...

Having a grandmother who currently has alzheimers, I only hope for your sake that you--or anyone else--ever have to go through the same thing... it's completely awful, and regardless of your political feelings, your statement was incredibly without class and basic decency.

Re:Why is this so surprising??? (1)

drgnvale (525787) | about 8 years ago | (#16121419)

Wow, I don't even know how to respond to that. I'd say you need a nice helping of lighten the fuck up.

Re:Why is this so surprising??? (1)

Moridineas (213502) | about 8 years ago | (#16121913)

Well, my first response would be, you don't have any reason to respond, as afaict, you didn't post the comment I was replying to... unless I missed something?

Re:Why is this so surprising??? (1)

hmccabe (465882) | about 8 years ago | (#16119169)

Why .. oh why .. is this news to anyone?

Because it's been hours since the last Nintendo story. These days people are going to be posting about the Wii and DS anyways, they might as well post a story so it's on topic.

In the interest of being on topic, I should say that I just finished playing Brain Age a few minutes ago and I feel much smarter. My prefrontal cortex is hella fit.

Re:Why is this so surprising??? (1)

Monsieur_F (531564) | about 8 years ago | (#16119419)

Well, it's working.

I just decided that paying 317 US$ (250 EUR) for the Wii was really expensive.
So I changed my mind and rather buy this 190 US$ (150 EUR) DS lite.

Re:Why is this so surprising??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16119182)

The point isn't the "alertness level," it is the effect on aging.

Re:Why is this so surprising??? (2, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | about 8 years ago | (#16119317)

oh why .. is this news to anyone?

They're selling something. The aging brain is a sucker.


Re:Why is this so surprising??? (1)

noidentity (188756) | about 8 years ago | (#16119362)

There are studies that eldery people who play things like crossword puzzles on a regular basis are generally more alert and have a better mental capacity than others their age who don't engage in such behaviors.

So you're saying that those old people who aren't "mentally fit" enough to do things like crossword puzzles... don't do things like crossword puzzles?

Re:Why is this so surprising??? (2, Interesting)

whereiswaldo (459052) | about 8 years ago | (#16119503)

My thought is that video games are but one way to stay mentally active. They seem to challenge various parts of your brain. If you take the old saying "use it or lose it" and apply it to the various parts of the brain, the more areas of your brain you keep challenged the better. You could think of video games as having "good test coverage" (re: software unit testing). How much test coverage does the game of Chess (strategy) or say a team-based multiplayer game give you? Seems it would be best to do 'cross-training' of your brain to get the best coverage.

Re:Why is this so surprising??? (1)

fastgood (714723) | about 8 years ago | (#16120648)

Tht prgrm rlly hlpd -- My mnd dsn't nd vwls nw.

Nxt stp, pncttn wn't b ncssry.

NO-FRIEND-O (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16119084)

Kawashima believes brains can be kept young and nimble through the rapid repetition of simple mental challenges.

Yeah, "young and nimble". Just like the brains of children who do two to three hours of busy work per night. NO THANKS, NO-FRIEND-O.

In Soviet Russia... (-1)

Ma3oxuct (900711) | about 8 years ago | (#16119107)

wits and reflexes keep Nintendo sharp.

It worked for me.. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16119110)

I believe it. I had brain surgery to remove a minor tumor, it was supposed to be completely safe and undamaging, but the surgery didn't go well and I ended up with a brain injury. I had terrible problems remembering words, and reading was very difficult. What pulled me through was playing Boggle on my computer. I figure the word game helped me reactivate my damaged memory pathways, and retrained me in pattern recognition. I still suck at Boggle, but I always did, even before the surgery. But now I seem to be back to my previous levels of literacy again, and the computer game helped me get there.

Re:It worked for me.. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16119516)

Next time get your Doctors to improve their skill with Trauma Center [] .

Re:It worked for me.. (2, Interesting)

Tetrad_of_doom (750972) | about 8 years ago | (#16119784)

You may have said this in jest, but there have been studies that suggest that playing video games before surgery can reduce the number of errors that surgeons make. Especially for Laparoscopic surgery, where the surgeon must use a television to see what he is doing. []

Re:It worked for me.. (1)

steveo777 (183629) | about 8 years ago | (#16132642)

Though I remember reading the article and I believe it has a great deal of validity... I'm not so sure I'd want my orthopedic sugeon (who is an amazing surgeon) playing Halo 2 deathmatch for 20 minutes before performing. Nor would I want to hear, "I totally pwnd that labram!" when he's finished. But, who knows.

Re:It worked for me (Eloquent cortex, Brain repair (1)

neurocutie (677249) | more than 7 years ago | (#16151917)

Well I'm glad you seem to be "back to normal"... The notion that you can have brain surgery to remove a tumor, and it being "undamaging", is, well, "quaint". Neurosurgeons speak of "eloquent cortex" (cortex that is obviously doing something useful) and "non-eloquent cortex" (brain that you aren't obviously using and won't miss if removed), but it is of course just a euphemism, and a bedtime story told to unknowing patients. The fact is that you are using ALL of your brain -- it ALL has a function, some parts much more poorly understood and less obvious than other parts. So of course ANY brain surgery is going to cause brain damage, by definition. And in the case of tumor removal, you want to make as wide an excision as you guess the patient can tolerate to make sure you get it all (you didn't say what kind of tumor it was, but some tumor cells are extremely nasty and are exceedingly efficient at infiltrating normal brain tissue over many *centimeters*). So in your case, it just sounds like the surgeons misjudged, in an obvious way, the boundaries of "non-eloquent cortex", though it is really a fiction anyways. I'm glad it seems like Boggle helped in the recovery process, and maybe it did. However, the brain also does have a natural time course of "recovery" that can take months or years. Since the brain cannot regenerate new brain tissue, the apparent recovery of function is largely due to rewiring, with normal, undamaged areas taking over and subsuming functions of the damaged regions. This process takes a lot of time. Whether Boggle actually helped is debatable, but the recovery process worked for you... sometimes it doesn't so well, and the deficits persist.

For the PC? (1)

paulius_g (808556) | about 8 years ago | (#16119111)

Is there an alternative to this "Brain Exercise" game for the PC? Brain Age sure looks interesting, but I'm not going to buy a console just to be able to play this one game (I know that Nintendo wants me to do that, but I don't have the money).

I know that PopCap Games makes great puzzle games from time to time, but are there any others? Maybe open source, even?

Re:For the PC? (1)

EndlessNameless (673105) | about 8 years ago | (#16119144)

No need for a technological replacement at all. My grandfather does crosswords when he's not painting, reading the newspaper, or playing poker.

Games aren't the only ways to keep a mind nimble, although I respect a neuroscientist who puts his money where his mouth is.

And hey... the Wii is only $250... compared that to the price of the NES adjusted for inflation, and it's not a bad deal. Especially since they're supposed to be releasing classic games for the console in the $5-$10 range. I've lost a few favorite carts while moving, and I'd get a Wii if some of those NES/SNES games will be available again.

alternatives galore... (5, Insightful)

Quadraginta (902985) | about 8 years ago | (#16119203)

Is there an alternative to this "Brain Exercise" game...?

Read Jane Eyre or Chernow's biography of Alexander Hamilton? Play tennis, golf, ping-pong? Learn to play the ukelele? Study Latin? Get together with friends to play bridge and argue politics?

It seems hardly surprising that playing video games is better than simply allowing your brain to rot. But I'd be equally surprised if playing video games is better than the more obvious and traditional ways to stay active as you age.

Re:alternatives galore... (4, Insightful)

RockModeNick (617483) | about 8 years ago | (#16119837)

I think video games might be particularly useful for isolated older people.

Re:alternatives galore... (1)

PreacherTom (1000306) | about 8 years ago | (#16120129)

And those who are incapacitated in nursing homes. Kinda hard to argue politics after you've had a stroke. I've met one or two that get it done pretty well, but it can be very frustrating for everyone involved.

Re:alternatives galore... (1)

slowbad (714725) | about 8 years ago | (#16120481)

It seems hardly surprising that playing video games is better than simply allowing your brain to rot.

Specifically though, Brain Age is targeted at the millions of older adults who purchase things like the herbal "Focus Factor" supplements (the ones Larry King kept saying worked for him -- right up until the week that a well-publicized study about its main ingredient proved otherwise)

Brain Age has a bit of scientific research behind it that I have little reason to doubt. But it is a 2 trick pony based on that study, with the other half dozen training exercises being obvious add-ons and filler materical. The main product delivers, but those two main exercises are narrow and if it weren't for the bundled Sudoku game, I guarantee you'd feel cheated unless it was sold in the half price bin when it was released.

Re:For the PC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16119232)

To clarify, since people seem to like to suggest silly things like "go outside" and "read a book" without using any of their supposedly-developed braincells on figuring out what's going on...

Brain Age (at least, one iteration of it) uses a suite of easy-to-learn 'puzzles', often with a strong mathematical basis, that can be greatly ramped up in difficulty. Based on how you perform while solving these tasks, Brain Age provides information including your "brain age".

Although you -could- argue that number-addiction isn't the point, it's a strong plus to me, and I reckon it might be to the parent poster. Given that the solution requested is specific enough to exclude reading books and going outside, such responses are deuchebaggery.

Re:For the PC? (1)

fractalrock (662410) | about 8 years ago | (#16119282)

I basically felt the same way you currently do about the Nintendo DS (lite)....can't afford it, don't want another console, etc.
Having said that...I bought one for the fiance...several months ago, and it's incredible. The console itself is such a superb design, and the games are truly great. We have Mario Cart, Brain Age, Super Mario Bros, and a couple others. I'm saving up to buy another NDS so that we can play each other.
Anyway, my point is...I know what it's like to be broke...but if you can save up the scratch for a NDS, it will be worth it.
My two $.

Re:For the PC? (1)

kfg (145172) | about 8 years ago | (#16119326)

"Is there an alternative to this "Brain Exercise" game for the PC?"

Gee Grandson, it's a Wurlitzer!


Re:For the PC? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | about 8 years ago | (#16119396)

There are dozens of PC brain exercise games that popped up after the DS game became successful, no idea which ones are any good. Many people enjoy that the DS game uses the stylus and microphone for input (so you say or write the answer instead of typing it) although its letter recognition is a bit borked from what I heard.

Re:For the PC? (1)

meringuoid (568297) | about 8 years ago | (#16119472)

Many people enjoy that the DS game uses the stylus and microphone for input

Yeah, right. I have one word to say to you on that subject: blue!

I said BLUE. What, you deaf or something? BLUE! BLUE! BLUUUUE!

Re:For the PC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16119815)

My girlfriend has the same problem. Of course it picks up my voice just fine so if I hear her saying blue about 12 times, I usually just lean over and say it into the machine to let her continue.

Re:For the PC? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | about 8 years ago | (#16120604)

That doesn't apply to the language I've used it in. Though the recognition fails if you go too close to the microphone, you're supposed to hold the DS at the normal gaming distance (50cm or so) and speak normally.

Re: Bluuuue (1)

hords (619030) | about 8 years ago | (#16121288)

I had the same problem, but found that if I say bluuue instead of blue it understands it just fine.

Re:For the PC? (1)

SomeoneGotMyNick (200685) | about 8 years ago | (#16129094)

I said BLUE. What, you deaf or something? BLUE! BLUE! BLUUUUE!

Make sure you understand the origin (the designer's background) of the game.

You pronounce it, "BRRRUUUEEEE"

Re:For the PC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16119798)

It is really worth getting the system just for this game. I can't get my damn DS back from my girlfriend because she got addicted to it. She's now played every sudoku problem in the thing so I think I will be able to get it back soon and I can finish off the last 50% of the problems that are there.

Some of the games are frustrating but it's designed so you don't have to play them if you don't want to.

That and mario are the only 2 games that get played on the DS these days. (I have about 8 DS games)

But can Nintendo keep Zonk away (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16119112)

But can Nintendo keep Zonk from posting shitty articles?
LEAVE SLASHDOT FOREVER ZONK!!! (we don't like you)

Re:But can Nintendo keep Zonk away (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16119120)

Hey, you can't speak on my behalf...

Re:But can Nintendo keep Zonk away (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16119140)

of course not. i see this all the time; it's as if millions of gamers cry out in complaint about zonk and are suddenly modded to 0.

maybe we should've mixed a bit of sony hate with our loving criticism. in case you dont know what im talking about read all the posts that were modded to 0.

Forget Brain Age... (1)

gotroot801 (7857) | about 8 years ago | (#16119128)

My mom did it on a steady diet of Super Mario (Brothers/World/64/Sunshine), Banjo-Kazooie (and sequels), and Ice Climber (and occasionally Wheel Of Fortune). Before the NES it was Astrosmash and Lock 'n' Chase for the Intellivision, and occasionally Jumpman for the C64. She and I both agreed that the mental stimulation and the hand-eye coordination required to keep playing kept her mind sharp, even if she needed me to get past the really tough parts.

Keep concentrated. (4, Funny)

Spazntwich (208070) | about 8 years ago | (#16119129)

I sat there, stylus in hand, wondering if the grim visage greeting my own was there to offer me more drugs, train my brain, or steal my soul. I reluctantly pressed the start button, and then the horror began. Numbers, symbols, some unholy language. What did it all mean? I had to get to the bottom of the mystery that was rapidly sucking the vitality from my already wizened exterior.

Before I knew it, I was naked in the street, shouting about demon doctors and magical mushrooms. The plumber, THE FIREBALLS OF ETERNAL DAMNATION.

Then it occured to me: When the nurse came with my daily dose of anti-psychotics, I had tried to swallow her and thank the friendly pills for my daily dose of nuturing.

Maybe I should put my clothes back on.

Re:Keep concentrated. (1)

agent dero (680753) | about 8 years ago | (#16119151)

Next time you have a thought...let it go.

Just saying.. :)

Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16130453)

I didn't even know there was a Silent Hill for DS. Sweet!

Old Grandma Hardcore! (1)

DurendalMac (736637) | about 8 years ago | (#16119149)

No, it's not a porn site. It's a 70 year old lady who's been playing video games for 20 years now. It's funny to watch her swear like a sailor when playing them.

Re:Old Grandma Hardcore! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16119215)

True this is not a new discovery. But you know this can be taken to the next level. If older people continue to sharpen their minds with practiced learning exercises, then the their minds will stay active and thus smarter. The problem is that calculus is too boring for most folks so games are an easy alternative. I would bet that if older people continued to practice and learn algebra and calculus the mind would stay even more productive than if they use video games to stay sharp. However, the shortest distance between two points equals economy of motion. Young minds and the distance to an older excercised mind is achieved most conveniently through gaming. It's not about the most beneficial route, but instead about the easiest way to achieve acceptable results. If you can have fun staying young then you get the best of both worlds.


Well I think that's crap (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16119258)

That's crap. Don't keep your brain involved in repetitive tasks (like Brain Training's Sudoku). Otherwise, it will become a machine highly fluent in that operation, but others will degrade. Solving puzzles, etc., will only condition your brain to logical, uncreative thinking.

I don't have a degree in neurosurgery, but this is how things are. I mean, the guy is just a professional in his field, not a particularly creative person.

Webvan was a good idea (-1, Offtopic)

Animats (122034) | about 8 years ago | (#16119269)

They list Webvan, which was actually a good idea. The problem was that they had 3% market share in 30 cities, and needed 30% market share in 3 cities to make the delivery costs work.

Safeway [] actually does that today, but in fewer markets.

Reports from the Future? (5, Funny)

Swordsmanus (921213) | about 8 years ago | (#16119271)

TFA dated September 25 2006. The author apparently has either found a time machine or hasn't been playing enough Brain Age!

Re:Reports from the Future? (1)

Altima(BoB) (602987) | about 8 years ago | (#16119751)

How do you know that it isn't actually September 25th, and that our calendar was overzealously started a few days too early, hmm? If you'd played Brain Age, you'd have thought of that.

Re:Reports from the Future? (1)

p3w-451 (989647) | about 8 years ago | (#16121212)

Must be all those leap seconds we haven't yet accounted for.

Honestly (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16119385)

How are you going to feel when a sand nigger is fuvking you up the ass in the name of Allah? FUCK ALLAH!

Ugh (1)

Dachannien (617929) | about 8 years ago | (#16119512)

Great, now I'm going to have nightmares of really old people playing Dance Dance Revolution.

Re:Ugh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16119554)

Scarier yet is when old people become the new Quake gods because they're retired and can afford to spend 18 hours a day perfecting their aerial rocket circle stafe attacks. But look on the bright side, at least then kids would respect their elders! On the other hand, we'd have to hold LANs at entirely different times since the old people need to be back in bed by 6pm (before most LANs start).

Translation: While definitively not proven... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16119674)

While our claims are definitively not proven, we welcome suckers who give us $$$. You might as well concentrate on moving your thumbs around each other to get the same result.

Big Brain Academy (4, Informative)

Xian97 (714198) | about 8 years ago | (#16119864)

I prefer Big Brain Academy to Brain Age. I found the handwriting recognition in Brain Age hit and miss, reading my 4s as 9s half of the time. In the Stroop test where it uses voice recognition, I have to repeat the word "Blue" frequently as it usually doesn't understand it the first time. The game is still fun though, but it would be less frustrating and I would have a higher score if it wasn't for those shortcomings.

On the other hand, Big Brain Academy doesn't rely on voice and handwriting recognition, and also has more excercises. If I could pick just one of the brain training games, Big Brain Academy would be my choice.

English, motherf***ker, do you speak it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16120005)

Maybe you're pronouncing "blue" with a heavy french accent, "bleuh".

(Yes, I know it doesn't take an H at the end in french.)

Re:Big Brain Academy (2, Interesting)

Jerf (17166) | about 8 years ago | (#16120163)

My wife wanted to get a DS (w00t!) just for Brain Age and Big Brain Academy, which she played at a friends briefly.

She initially liked Brain Age better, as did I, but Big Brain Academy has aged better.

It feels less stupid. Brain Age is true to its goal of trying to keep your brain alert, but many of the challenges only make sense in that context. If you're not in to things where the computer just sits there and watches you do it, like making you draw a picture but being completely unable to grade it, you won't like it as well. In Big Brain Academy everything is actually evaluated.

Also, in Big Brain Academy, while we like some challenges more than others, we pretty much like them all. Leave it to a psychologist to decide to write a test that uses the same parts of the brain as the Stroop test [] , and actually implements... the Stroop color test directly. Look, when we say games "test reaction time", we don't do it by having every "game" consist of pressing the button as quickly as possible when the light goes on. We have a game where reaction time is smoothly integrated into the rest of the game. Surely we could have done something Stroop-like, without being basically a video-game transcription of a rather dull psychological test.

I don't regret getting Brain Age because some of its tests are valuable. I intend to work with the word list memorization one more, for instance. But I plan on using the cheat code to allow myself to pick it deliberately and skip the Stroop testing.

"In conclusion", while Brain Age had the slicker initial package, Big Brain Academy has much better long-term appeal.

Re:Big Brain Academy (1)

texaport (600120) | about 8 years ago | (#16120418)

I found the handwriting recognition in Brain Age hit and miss, reading my 4s as 9s half of the time. In the Stroop test where it uses voice recognition, I have to repeat the word "Blue" frequently

I've let dozens of people play the game and it is a show-stopper for most everyone over the age of 35 or 40 -- way beyond frustrating, due to this big BAD bug in this software.

I still think it does a couple of the exercises well, but why they never bothered fixing this is bewildering at best (if you really try to give them the benefit of the $$ doubt).

I barely know the Japanese written and verbal language, but if I wrote a program solely dependent on it, my marginal phonetics would at least be caught with 5 minutes of beta testing.

Re:Big Brain Academy (1)

2008 (900939) | about 8 years ago | (#16130580)

You don't have to play the voice recognition part of the game (apart from once or twice on a new save).
Once you unlock more tests you can choose which to play when finding you brain age, so you can just ignore the broken Stroop test. It's a flaw but it's not a show stopper, there are enough other modes to keep my family busy with the game.

It is pretty weird that they shipped the game with this mode featured so prominently though.

Other games can do it, but this is tuned for this. (2, Interesting)

Solr_Flare (844465) | about 8 years ago | (#16120815)

As others have posted, using a variety of games, or even certain non-gaming activities, can give the same benefits as Brain Age. However, after using Brain Age/Big Brain Academy for several months I can safely say the two games are far more effective because they are specifically designed for this purpose. I'm a pretty die hard gamer myself, but after a month of using Brain Age I began to notice a marked improvement in how quickly I could mentally respond to a given task. This wasn't something I just noticed myself, some of my friends and co-workers even commented about how sharper I seemed.

Of the two games, I think most people would enjoy Big Brain Academy more because it feels more like a game, while Brain Age feels more like homework. However, I found Brain Age to be the better of the two simply because its math games are great for people who want to improve their basic math skills.

Building a "Cognitive Reserve" (1)

cogno64 (970283) | about 8 years ago | (#16122709)

Experts in cognitive chronometrics and also neuroplasticity have long held these views, but research conducted in the past 3 years and published supports the contention that you can enhance your brain...building a cognitive reserve through 'education' and cognitive training. Some of the gains in BrainAge are due to the practice effect, as are some of the gains in chonometrics, but it also seems that greater attention, speed, and focus capability is a direct result, e.g., your coding is likely to be both faster-to-production and more accurate. a good link for G and ECT's (Arthur Jensen) is here [] . A free game is here. [] The historical legacy goes back to Terman.

Ummm... this is what STRATEGY games are for...? (1)

macraig (621737) | about 8 years ago | (#16123419)

Why waste time with this Nintendo crap? Go buy gramps a copy of Total Annihilation or some other good RTS (or wait for the upcoming Supreme Commander) and REALLY put his mind to work. If he really plays it "real time", he'll be honing some good reflexes. too.
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