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Tag: video-games

I went to several local video game shops right before Chinese New Year. It had been long time since I’d bought or really played any console games, but the Wii was different enough and interesting enough that I decided to get one to play over my two week vacation. For new systems, here were the prices:

  • Standard Wii + 1 left controller + 1 right controller + localized version of Wii Sports: 7400NT
  • Wii with mod chip installed + 1 left controller + 1 right controller + localized version of Wii Sports: 8500NT
  • Extra left controller: 850NT
  • Extra right controller: 580NT
  • Wii Fit and balance board: 3600NT

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I’ve been playing some flash games recently. Here’s one I kinda like. It’s called light-bot. The goal is to program a robot to move around and light up certain squares. The only things the robot can do are walk forward, turn left, turn right, jump and toggle the light (for whichever square it currently occupies). You can make two functions, but there’s no branching, and the robot has extremely limited memory.
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John’s officially a bad person. Not only is he a blog butcher, but he’s responsible for me finding out about Desktop Tower Defense, a flash game of crack-like addictiveness.

Desktop Tower Defense has officially made all other work both impossible and pointless. If you something that you need to get done, today, by all means avoid clicking on that link.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

またあの煩い外人(John Biesnecker’s blog): Desktop Tower Defense

Warnings shmarnings. This is one dangerous game. It sucks time from you until you’re nothing but a twitching husk of a person capable only of fantasizing about ever more diabolical mazes. I managed to achieve a total elimination of every creep, though, so take that, John!

(If you happen to get bitten by this addiction, too, you can find my scores on the “China Bloggers” group)

Today, I stumbled across an interesting study about bilingualism, video games, and keeping the brain functioning as if it were younger than it actually is. Brain imaging research has shown that two of the most crucial reasons many elderly people have difficulties with multi-tasking are that they cannot silence mental noise, and cannot fire up activity in the frontal lobe (or other parts of the brain) as quickly as they once could.

Apparently, both bilinguals and avid video gamers have greater abilities to do both of these tasks.

“The people who were video game players were better and faster performers,” said psychologist Ellen Bialystok, a research professor at York University. “Those who were bilingual and video game addicts scored best — particularly at the most difficult tasks.”

This is very interesting. Bilingualism has long been known to have beneficial effects on the brain, and learning new skills has been shown to promote the creation of new neurons, as well as neural connections in older people. Video games have been casually linked with the Flynn effect in other studies, but this is the first time I’ve seen any talk of its effect on mental aging.