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Puzzles for Brain Fitness


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We all exercise to keep our bodies strong and healthy. Now more and more people are playing puzzles like crosswords and Sudoku to keep their brains strong and healthy. This talk lays out how puzzles will need to be shaped to best serve the growing market for brain games.

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Puzzles for Brain Fitness

  1. PUZZLES FOR BRAIN FITNESS <ul><li>Scott Kim, </li></ul><ul><li>The 29th International Puzzle Party, Aug 8, 2009 </li></ul>
  3. Puzzles = mental sports <ul><li>Puzzles are to mental fitness as Sports are to physical fitness </li></ul><ul><li>A fun way to stay healthy </li></ul>
  4. as an elite sport <ul><li>Small community </li></ul><ul><li>Motivated by sport itself </li></ul><ul><li>High challenge </li></ul>Puzzles
  5. as a popular sport <ul><li>Big community </li></ul><ul><li>Motivated by fun, health </li></ul><ul><li>Adapt sport for novices </li></ul><ul><li>Experts become coaches </li></ul>Puzzles
  6. Education Putting brain fitness in context
  7. Three ways to use puzzles <ul><li>1. Teach a subject </li></ul><ul><li>2. Teach problem solving </li></ul><ul><li>3. Exercise your brain </li></ul>
  8. 1. Teach a subject <ul><li>Teach a subject like math or physics </li></ul><ul><li>Alternative to worksheets </li></ul><ul><li>Match puzzle with subject </li></ul>SUBJECT Arithmetic Fractions Geometry Combinatorics Perspective PUZZLE Math Dice Tangrams Pattern Blocks Pentominoes Towers of Hanoi
  9. Fractions Tangrams 1. Teach a subject
  10. 2. Teach problem solving <ul><li>Teach general strategies </li></ul><ul><li>That apply to all sorts of problems </li></ul><ul><li>Match puzzle with strategy </li></ul>STRATEGIES Work Backwards Be Systematic Plan Ahead Eliminate Parity PUZZLE Maze Towers of Hanoi Rush Hour Tangrams 15 Puzzle
  11. Plan Ahead Rush Hour 2. Teach problem solving
  12. 3. Exercise your brain <ul><li>Exercise areas of brain </li></ul><ul><li>Similar to physical fitness </li></ul><ul><li>Match puzzle with brain area </li></ul>BRAIN AREA Memory Focus Logic Language Visual PUZZLE Concentration Labyrinth Rubik’s Cube Boggle Jigsaw Puzzle
  13. Memory Concentration 3. Exercise your brain
  14. Where is the opportunity? 1. Subject 2. Problem solving 3. Brain fitness
  15. Where is the opportunity? 1. Subject 2. Problem solving 3. Brain fitness Limited Schools have no money (but parents paying for extra classes is growing)
  16. Where is the opportunity? 1. Subject 2. Problem solving 3. Brain fitness Limited Limited Schools don’t teach problem solving (but professional ed sometimes does)
  17. Where is the opportunity? Limited 1. Subject 2. Problem solving 3. Brain fitness Limited BIG OPPORTUNITY People want it and feel they need it.
  18. Brain Fitness
  19. Part of healthy lifestyle
  20. A major growing trend
  21. Now: computer games
  22. Future: mass market Brain Fitness
  23. Puzzles for brain fitness What they need to do
  24. 1. Show people
  25. 2. Reconfigurable pieces
  26. 3. Performance tracking
  27. 4. Small rateable chunks
  28. 5. Customizable content
  29. Conclusions
  30. Summary <ul><li>Education — three types </li></ul><ul><li>Brain fitness — major health trend </li></ul><ul><li>Puzzles — what they need to do </li></ul>
  31. Opportunities <ul><li>Collector: Choose puzzles </li></ul><ul><li>Solver: Teach, coach </li></ul><ul><li>Maker: Adapt puzzles </li></ul><ul><li>Inventor: New puzzles </li></ul>[email_address]