Brain Games - Do They Work?
Brain video games are on their way to becoming a billion dollar industry.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - While many of us grew up with video games starring Mario or Sonic...today's gamers have more options than ever.
Brain games like “Brain Age” for the Nintendo DS promise to help you get the most out of your pre-frontal cortex.
"A lot of times the parents actually buy 'em for the kids to play so they can try to learn something as they play," says Joe Lyons, owner of Lyons Arcades.
Do they work? a UCLA study found brain fitness exercises improved seniors scores on memory tests while a Cambridge study concluded that brain video games offer no more benefit than if you were to play a game of Scrabble.
"What they mean by that is that even though they improve some skills in your brain they don't move these skills to your cognitive functions of your brain," says Dr. Farhad Javidi, Senior Chair of Application Development at Central Piedmont Community College.
Dr. Javidi's students at CPCC develop brain games as well games of every genre using the newest equipment and techniques.
Javidi says some of the more traditional video games are actually more helpful to a child's development than brain games.
"Some of these games you actually have to think very critically. You go for a war, you create a guild and then you have to lead the guild so how to lead your guild how to create a civilization. You want to create your own strategy so problem solving, critical thinking it all comes to play."
Javidi believes it's up to parent to decide what type of games kids play and offers this advice: "No matter brain games, no matter video games, I believe that games usually any kind even social games when you play cards, when you are playing Backgammon or Chess, they're always good for your brain."