Sunday, November 16, 2014

Happy Birthday Shigeru Miyamoto

You often hear Moms say "You can't sit around and play video games all day" But just take a peak at what a lifetime of playing video games looks like. At 62 Shigeru Miyamoto still looks like a kid.

The thing my kids love about Shigeru, other than the fact that he created Mario, is that in every interview you will ever see with Mr. Miyamoto he is smiling.

The world needs more smiles.

Mario and every game where you can find Mario has brought hours and hours of smiles to this family.

Today we celebrate Shigeru Miyamoto's birthday and marvel at the youthful delight that he has seemed to maintain and incorporate in everything he does.  Perhaps he has found the fountain of youth and its name is Mario.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Playing Super Mario induces structural brain plasticity: gray matter changes resulting from training with a commercial video game.

It's ME... Mario!

This one sentence has been heard around our house since the mid 90's.  Our boys, who are now in college, grew up playing Mario. Recently, we had a big party at our house with families who had kids of all ages. I went into the game room and there were about 7 kids (ages ranging from 16 to 25) all sitting around playing Mario.

So while there are some big research words and moderately confusing acronyms it is exciting to see research being done on the positive value of playing video games. Another exciting factor of this research is the possible benefit that playing video games could have on PTSD.  Below you will find the abstract of this research with a link to more information on this study:

Authors: Kühn S, Gleich T, Lorenz RC, Lindenberger U, Gallinat J
Video gaming is a highly pervasive activity, providing a multitude of complex cognitive and motor demands. Gaming can be seen as an intense training of several skills. Associated cerebral structural plasticity induced has not been investigated so far. Comparing a control with a video gaming training group that was trained for 2 months for at least 30 min per day with a platformer game, we found significant gray matter (GM) increase in right hippocampal formation (HC), right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and bilateral cerebellum in the training group. The HC increase correlated with changes from egocentric to allocentric navigation strategy. GM increases in HC and DLPFC correlated with participants' desire for video gaming, evidence suggesting a predictive role of desire in volume change. Video game training augments GM in brain areas crucial for spatial navigation, strategic planning, working memory and motor performance going along with evidence for behavioral changes of navigation strategy. The presented video game training could therefore be used to counteract known risk factors for mental disease such as smaller hippocampus and prefrontal cortex volume in, for example, post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia and neurodegenerative disease.

Mol Psychiatry. 2014 Feb;19(2):265-71
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Monday, September 29, 2014

HUGE Trap Team Reveal: 15 Chapters, 8 Villains: Eye Five, Dr Krankcase, ...

From our friends at Family Gamer TV. This is a great video showing lots of new villians and playing through several levels of this game that is in the Skylanders series. If you have a kid interested in the Trap Team you need to watch this video and impress your kids with your knowledge of the characters. OR if you just love hearing Andy's english accent as Family Gamer TV plays through the game then you must watch this video. Either way you will enjoy this video.



The Skylanders Video Games are rated E for Everyone by the ESRB. For more info on video games and the rating system visit ESRB.org which just celebrated their 20th Anniversary of providing an excellent service to families everywhere.