It wasn't that long ago that Nintendo's Brain Age for the DS was trumpeted as a way to help senior citizens stay sharp. But the European Union's ElderGames project takes the concept of using video games to stimulate aging minds to a whole new level.
e Health Europe reports that ElderGames has successfully completed its first round of trials in Spain, Norway and the UK. The system utilizes a small table with a flat panel display embedded on top. Players sit around the table and play games with one another.
The three-year-old project is funded by the EU and employs a suite of 20 games designed to help seniors sharpen their cognitive, functional and social skills. Each players' progess is tracked over time and caregivers receive early warning of cognitive deterioration. Project coordinator Malena Fabregat told e Health Europe:
There are many studies showing that play and leisure activities correlate to life satisfaction, this is one area where ElderGames has proven itself.
The experts were able to get high-quality individual information from these group activities, which multiplied their ability to monitor and assess the people they were responsible for.
We’ve had some very good reactions to the prototype [from video game companies], we’ll have to see what happens next.