writes "While Nintendo boasts that its Wii can make you fit, the game company's popular line of DS "Brain Games" have for some time promised to make kids smarter by challenging them with word puzzles and math formulas. However, a French professor isn't buying the shtick.
University of Rennes professor Alain Lieury, a cognitive psychology specialist in Brittany, France, recently studied a group of ten year old children playing a variety of mentally-challenging games. Not all were video games, however; Lieury pit more traditional games (including sudoku, Scrabble, and regular old reading and homework) against Nintendo's popular line of DS hits, including Brain Age, Big Brain Academy, and Brain Training. All are supposedly designed to help develop young minds. Although I've yet to hear Nintendo make any promises, it's assumed that if you play enough of these games you'll be on your way to Harvard.
Not so, says Lieury. Although he credits the Nintendo DS — the best-selling gaming system of all time — as "a technological jewel," he finds that Nintendo's claim that it can actually help kids learn is nothing more than pure "charlatanism"."