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Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

March 21, 2006 at 3:33 PM

Daily dose of Mario

Can video games help the brain stay in shape? The Games for Health Project hopes to find out.

Games for Health and Seattle’s PopCap Games shared their initial findings at the Game Developers Conference in San Jose today.

Evidence is growing that people who engage in mental aerobics like chess or crosswords, in addition to socializing and doing physical exercise, have a lower incidence of disorders like Alzheimer’s disease.

The researchers want to know whether video games can help an aging population and, if so, which ones work best. They point to brain exercise games for Nintendo’s DS platform that have become successful in Japan. PopCap is looking into putting puzzle and problem-solving activities into its future games.

With more than 8 million Americans aged 65 and older on the Internet, it could be a whole new market.

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