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Brain Games

Ok, I've been seeing lots and lots of games coming out on multiple platforms that claim to enhance your thinking and make you react faster. Do these games really work? And if you play them, which ones are really good?
The only thing these games are good for, is spending your free time. You may get higher scores the more often you play them, but the only thing this means is you understand the puzzles it shows you better. In no way it makes you more intelligent or gives your brain 'training'.

In fact, the only thing proven to enhance your IQ, is breast milk. For the first year of your life, that is.
No, training your brain is actually helping a lot, but don't think those commercial things will do it. Maybe only things where you have to calculate very difficult math problems, but I never encountered them. Razz
Brains adjust to the usage. So if you are damn lazy on school for a couple of years, your IQ drops a very small bit.
Brain games do work. There have been research studies that show this. The most important study so far was the recent one in Scotland in which students who played Brain Age before class each day improved their math scores by 50% over the control group. In the past brain games were hit and miss. Now they are getting more scientific because of the research that is being done.

I personally use Lumosity which is an online brain training service. I can tell my mind is much sharper when I play it consistently from day to day. I think it's like physical exercise - if you don't exercise your body, your muscles get weak and flabby. Same thing with your mind - if you force your mind to work harder than normal, the neurons in your brain adapt and grow to meet the challenge.

There are still plenty of free brain games on the web, of course. The problem with free games is you don't get any feedback and you don't have any way to measure your progress.
I've been playing computer games now for over 30 years ( started in 1976) and have had the chance to watch them progress from the 16K 8088 assembly code base to the awe inspiring graphics intensive goliaths that we all now take for granted.
I must have played several hundreds of different games in this time and I have my favorite genres as we all do.
On a purely personal level, I've always thought that games taught two basic things, hand-eye coordination and simple applied strategy skills however this has morphed into a great deal more and much of it very subtle.
I'm not talking about those games dedicated to teaching as these are ( fun though they may be ) still educational tools with a specific task in mind.
I've watched the trend for games moving on-line and having large communities or guilds who participate toward common goals - although this has never appealed to me personally there is a massive following for this sort of thing which is an indication of the growing popularity.
(I'm more of the suicidal loner attacking Dragon +1000 with brittle wooden club variety)
Talking to those who play in this sort of gaming environment, I see organizational and strategy skills being tested to the nth degree, negotiation skills, barter and just plain good communication skills being used. What used to be a skill/relaxation focus is now has a social aspect as well that can't be over looked.
Games with skill do help in your life. (Not mindless grinding on MMORPGs like most do)

Some game examples I can come up with is O2Jam/O2Mania ( It improves your hand eye coordination and eventually your reflexes ) and a similar game is DJ Max. Guitar Heroes, Rockband, Dance Dance Revolution, etc.

Or you could play games that require you to think before you do stuff like Online Stock Market Games, or those puzzle games you find almost everywhere that's made with Flash. Play long enough and you might just get a bit more hmm.. Developed.
My son is forever playing brain age 2 for the DS since it was released, since he really likes word and brain games and puzzle games are always good
Best brain game is Japanese Push Game. Can't remember the name right now.
Nutteloos wrote:
In no way it makes you more intelligent or gives your brain 'training'.


Although depending on the "game" you could probably call it brain exercise, maybe, but you could say the same thing about your favorite TBS.
like most games, the more you play, the better you will become (in most cases). With 'brain training' games, if you get addicted to the game and continually play it, you will start beating your old highscores, setting new records and ultimately, new goals for you to overcome. Much like things like mathematics, the more you practice something, the faster and more effective you will be able to do it. These brain games wont "teach" you anything new, but they will get your brain thinking and working. As for allowing you to do things faster (ie, math, science, etc.) I doubt it, but these games are a good way to start those gears in your brain to start moving.
I've played a few different versions of Brain training on the Nintendo DS, i dont really know if they work. I really cant get into the games though. My sister really seems to like them and play them pretty frequently. It really is just a big math and reaction sort of game which i dont find very appealing.

I also hate the really unrealistic Brain ages it gives you lol. Saying thing like you have the brain age of a 70 year old when your only 19. I suppose it is good to get your mind working in a productive way. but I really dont have the patience or want to waste my time playing a game like that.
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