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Brain Health through Serious Games and Brain Exercise

Eliane writes a great post estimating the size of the Serious Games Market, building on the overall PriceWaterhouseCoopers report that seemed to indicate that the Global Video Game Market is Set to Explode.

Some quotes

  • “The overall gaming audience continues to expand and become somewhat more female and older than in the past thanks to casual games and games becoming an “important part of culture” – which in my view would embed the Serious Games segment.”
  • “Whereas the military was one of the first customers of Serious Games, it has been joined by a long line of users, including other government agencies, healthcare providers, schools (both K-12 and universities) and Fortune 500 companies (for team building, leadership training, sales training and product education, among others).”
  • “This is my conservative estimate: the Serious Games market would be ranging between $200 – 400 million per year only in US, in 2007. “
  • “There is now an emergent supply chain for Corporate Serious Games, with a number of corporations taking the first steps and commissioning Serious Games development, which could easily make available additional $ 400 – 600 million per year. The same applies to Healthcare providers (e.g., training for surgery, for emergency medical response, and for managing surgical teams), bringing the overall figure for the Serious Games market close to $ 1.5 billion in 2008.”

We have no doubt that “serious” brain training programs (with more evidence behind than Nintendo Brain Age for cognitive training) will be an important component of this trend. We have dealt before with questions such as why are so many brain fitness programs appearing now? and why are computer programs better than paper-based ones.

These are some of the design elements for serious games to train cognitive skills that we outlined at the Serious Games Summit last year:

  • Measure a clear objective
  • Assess and Train a bottleneck
  • Design for Cross-training     
  • Think Exercise, more than Games: we are talking about Individualized Programs with maximum Stretching practice
  • Ensure Compliance: Reward game at the end of the session, sometimes supplemented with coaching for kids and metrics for adults. 
  • In short: very interesting times, and a growing “serious games” market. We will see how we can use gaming technologies to exercise and improve more and more cognitive skills and brain areas!

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4 Responses

  1. By focusing on games as a way to train the brain, we keep the focus on the positive aspects of games and open our minds to their potential.

  2. Alvaro says:

    Agreed, Diane

  3. gwen kleeman says:

    Hi I wrote before to you. I would like a title of a book or books, magazines, that can start me out with brain exercises as I do not have access to computers very often and would like to keep my 75 year old brain alive. Thanks

  4. Alvaro says:

    Hello Gwen, I don’t recall you contacting us before-but no memory is perfect!

    You can check some books here
    http://www.sharpbrains.com/get-started/books/

    There is much you can do without a computer to maintain your brain sharp!

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