Nintendo Brain Training Game Near Useless

A team of researchers has purported that video games designed for improving the mental ability of children don’t have any major impact as often claimed by their developers.

Researchers from the University of Rennes in Brittany have discovered that games including those available on Nintendo DS do not enhance the activity of the brain as much as it has been touted.

In a study of 67 ten-year-old children, researchers found no proofs that could back Nintendo’s advertising promotion, featuring Nicole Kidman, which claims that users of its game consoles can evaluate and enhance their brain.

Nintendo asserts its “edutainment” games, including Brain Training and Big Brain Academy, can boost blood flow to the brain, which eventually improve its users’ “practical intelligence”.

However, researchers also claimed that other tasks, such as playing scrabble, solving SuDoku puzzles, or completing homework, can offer as effective results as obtained through playing games on Nintendo consoles.

Commenting upon the utility Nintendo game consoles in improving brain, Alan Lieury, professor cognitive psychology, said in a statement, “The Nintendo DS is a technological jewel. As a game it’s fine, but it would be charlatanism to claim that it is a scientific test”.

Nintendo upheld its edutainment tag, by saying that it had never touted the games were scientifically demonstrated to boost cognitive function.

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Our Comments

So much for all the buzz surrounding the brain training games. However, there are other studies that seems to purport that playing games really help to develop some specific cognitive skills better than just pen and pencil. Furthermore, there's a dose of self fulfilling prophecy and placebo effect to be considered as well.

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