The Associated Press is reporting that a new Nintendo based game is designed for older consumers, by engaging them in “a daily regimen of number games, word puzzles and reading exercises designed. It also lets players test their intelligence levels through IQ-type quizzes. It saves the results so progress can be tracked or compared with others.” Apparently, the game is extremely popular in Japan, where even some hospitals have started to introduce Nintendo DS units in waiting rooms and patient floors. Now the game is showing up in North America.
From the official website of Nintendo:
After decades of exercising players’ thumbs, Nintendo is now moving to their minds. Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day for Nintendo DS will help players flex their mental muscles. Brain Age represents the first in a series of U.S. brain-training titles that already have taken Japan by storm…
Three separate titles in the brain-training series are currently a huge craze in Japan. Each of them has achieved sales of more than 1 million units, with the most recent title hitting that milestone in less than a month. The craze has been fueled largely by older players, many of whom had never played a video game system before.
Brain Age (known as Brain Training in Japan) was inspired by the work of Professor Ryuta Kawashima, a prominent Japanese neuroscientist. His studies evaluated the effect of performing reading and mathematic exercises to help stimulate the brain.
“Young or old, everyone looks for ways to get a mental edge,” says Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America’s executive vice president of sales & marketing. “Our brain-training series, led by Brain Age, builds on the popularity of word and number puzzles and acts as a treadmill for the mind.”
Brain Age presents players with a series of fun mental brain-training challenges that incorporate word memorization, counting and reading. It even includes sudoku number puzzles, which have become extremely popular features in newspapers around the country. The distinctive touch screen of Nintendo DS lets users write their responses, just as though they were using a PDA. Players even turn the Nintendo DS sideways to make it feel more familiar, like a book. The more often users challenge themselves, the better they become at the tasks and the lower their estimated DS “brain age.”