Posts Tagged ‘brain games’

Is it really “Smarter”?

March 21st, 2014

Ok I’m going to bring this up again but I just read the NYT review for “Smarter”. All this brain training merchandising feels too surface, like a trick around deep thinking. Maybe brain training quick-fixes work? Maybe even as a simple kickstart for your brain, to get you prepared to think deeply? I don’t want to be a naysayer of progress but the games feel part and parcel to a “bigger, better, keep-up-with-the-joneses” approach than with truly richer thinking. It feels like tricks on how to train yourself to be a really fast typist or a great executive assistant. My brain changes with whatever I do repetitively. For example, I started closing my eyes and seeing candy after playing candy crush for the first few days (by the way, this side-effect was hilariously mentioned in Brooklyn Nine Nine not this clip but this episode). The app/game maybe made me faster at certain things, like crushing fake candy, but did it make me a better thinker? I don’t know. I had to take it off my phone because it was ruining my focus for anything BUT candy crush. I’m sure the games that “Smarter” mentions and that “Lumosity” uses are highly vetted and different than candy crush but my question remains the same. Are these games leading to deep cognitive thought or just some sort of built-in, knee jerk, surface change that optimizes game brain? I guess I should read the book and do the exercises. But they seem so boring. Can’t I take, like, a physics class instead?

Here’s an additional link about the related topic of Candy Crush addiction. You can stop. I believe in you.