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!


  1. Diane Robertson on July 18, 2007 at 9:13

    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 on July 19, 2007 at 3:48

    Agreed, Diane

  3. gwen kleeman on August 9, 2007 at 10:53

    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 on August 10, 2007 at 6:48

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

    You can check some books here

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

About SharpBrains

SHARPBRAINS is an independent think-tank and consulting firm providing services at the frontier of applied neuroscience, health, leadership and innovation.
SHARPBRAINS es un think-tank y consultoría independiente proporcionando servicios para la neurociencia aplicada, salud, liderazgo e innovación.

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