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Session Name:

The State of Cognitive Exercise with Digital Gameplay


In 2006 PopCap Games and The Games for Health Project announced a joint research initiative to look at the cognitive health benefits of digital gameplay. The goal of this effort was to look at the potential applications, commercial, and non-commercial aspects of cognitive exercise. The project was jointly underwritten by PopCap and Games for Health, and it represented the first major project between a Serious Games Initiative effort and a major game development company.

With an increasingly aging population in many developed countries the field of cognitive exercise is growing. Advocates of cognitive exercise say it is equally important for people to exercise their minds as well as their bodies. In Japan, a series of popular brain exercise games for Nintendo's DS platform have been major commercial successes. In the U.S. several companies offer mental workout products. However, it's not clear what's good and what isn't or how or whether existing underlying scientific research has been effectively applied.

The goal of the work is to summarize past and present efforts. It also is looking at existing public perceptions of cognitive exercise and expert opinions on whether digital games offer any specific comparative advantages over other sources of cognitive exercise.

In this session, Games for Health presents the summary findings of this research and outlines both needs for further research, as well as how current and future research may shape the market opportunity for this new trend in the game and games for health fields.

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