Friday, April 14, 2006

Brain training for seniors in Japan

The growing popularity in Japan of "brain training for seniors" reflects that country's aging society. The trend began in Japan's bookstores, with workbooks full of math, geography, and other problems for seniors to solve as a way to stimulate their brains and stave off dementia.

Now, video game makers are getting into the act, releasing "brain training" titles marketed specifically to seniors.

Nintendo has sold a combined total of more than 3.3 million of its “Brain Training for Adults” released in May 2005 and a sequel that came out last December. Its portable DS consoles on which the games are played are constantly out of stock in shops.

As the aging of Japan accelerates, and seniors account for a larger and larger portion of the total population, companies will market more products to the sixty-and-older crowd. American could see a similar trend play out as our own Baby Boom generation continues aging.

—Mellow Monk

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