This week, Critical Reception takes a look at Nintendo's Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day
which is based on the research of Professor Ryuta Kawashima of Tohoku University in Japan, a neuroscientist who specializes in brain imaging. The software is purported to stimulate brain activity through a series of brain "exercises" ranging from simple arithmetic to reading aloud and counting syllables.
While arguably not actually a game, Brain Age
was nonetheless reviewed by most major consumer game publications and media, and scored an average rating of 73%
, according to game review compilation website GameTab.com.
Already its benefits have brought about a healthy dose of skepticism, as Game Revolution's Ben Silverman opines
, "I don’t mean to piss on the parade here, but if practice makes perfect, it only makes sense that your times and errors would lower as you get better at, say, identifying that 9 x 9 = 81. Like in any game, the more you play it, the better you get. Over time, I managed to better my scores in most of the tests, but I’m not convinced that made me any smarter. For instance, I still drink too much. Where’s the test for that
You can read the full Gamasutra column on the subject
, including information on the game's reception from review sites GameSpot and 1UP (no registration required, please feel free to link to this column from external websites).