Hospitals using Brain Training

In Japan - where else?

Nintendo's Brain Training efforts have sold stupendous amounts in Japan - we all know that - but according to a report sourced by the Associated Press from Mainichi Daily News, it's not just the stupid children and anxious adults who are picking it up to find out whether their noggin's actually firing on all nerve structures: now doctors are recommending elderly folks in their care give it a go to help stimulate the mind.

Kyoto's Uchida Hospital, which runs a memory loss clinic for patients suffering dementia has apparently got hold of a load of DSes and copies of Brain Training - which is made up a lot of simple tests involving anagrams and sums and the like - and according to administrator Atsuko Uchida "they're almost always rented out".

The AP even quoted a 67-year-old patient, Isamu Shishido, who said he hoped the game would help him stop forgetting things like names and phone numbers so his daughter will stop making fun of him about it. "I don't want to end up some crazy old man. I want to play a little everyday before going to bed," he said, which sounds reasonable to us.

Nintendo's obviously using all this as an excuse to point out, again, that people of all ages like its Brain Training software and that its famous new strategy to try and appeal to existing games, disillusioned gamers and non-gamers all at once is working very well thank you very much. Indeed, since Kyoto's where Nintendo lives, you might even argue that it all smells a bit like a publicity stunt.

But hey, we're not going to complain about games that help people stave off the effects of old age. Apart from the serious benefits this sort of thing implies, it's a wonderful excuse to make jokes about certain colleagues who often phone up and say, "I've got to the station, but I can't remember where the office is." Like "Why did the business development director for editorial cross the road? Because he couldn't remember where Capcom is." Another day closer to the grave, readers. [For you anyway. - Ed]

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