In Europe, ElderGames Project Completes First Round of Testing

May 27, 2009 -

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.


Real-time Strategy May Be Anti-Aging Strategy

December 13, 2008 -

Researchers at the University of Illinois report that senior citizens who played the PC real-time strategy game Rise of Nations performed better in tests of cognitive function than a control group that did not play.

As reported by Physorg.com, researcher Chandramallika Basak, the study's lead author, explained why RoN was selected:

[In Rise of Nations] you need merchants. You need an army to protect yourself and you have to make sure you're spending some of your resources on education and food. This game stresses resource management and planning, which I think for older adults is important because many of them independently plan and manage their resources.

Test subjects who played the game showed significant improvement at switching between tasks, as well as gains in memory and reasoning. And, the more they played, the better they did.

15 comments

Nintendo Makes a Splash at 50+ Expo

September 8, 2008 -

Nintendo cozied up to the 50-and-older crowd last week at the AARP's Life at 50+ Expo in Washington, D.C.

Not unexpectedly, titles like Brain Age and Wii Bowling were on display.

Madworld trailer? Not so much...

 

 

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