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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. 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

  3. 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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As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters and more, SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking health and performance applications of brain science.

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