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[2019/03/29] Preventing Dementia is Not a Dream! NYMU has Partnered with the Video Game Industry to Invest In "Games for Anti-aging Research"

NYMU, StanShih Foundation and the video game software industry held a press conference on "Games for Anti-Age Research."


Taiwan has become an aging society and this has resulted in many emerging challenges. One result is that controlling the aging process and preventing dementia have become some of the most important issues affecting present-day Taiwan. The three major video game software companies in Taiwan, namely International Games System Co., USERJOY, and Bonus Winner Entertainment Co., have joined together with NYMU and the StanShih Foundation and they announced on January 9th that they would invest in a "Games for Anti-aging" program with the goal of “overturning aging with gaming.” The research hopes that video games will help the elderly to actively use their brains in order to reduce the effects of aging and prevent dementia.


In order to introduce the innovative "games for anti-aging" research to the medical field, Chairman Shih made a visit to NYMU and received a test himself. His reaction to the video games was captured and will be used in the future to understand better how the various data collected from the brain during the game can help the project.


Curator Guo (left) explains the exhibits to the guests.


Director Chen from the NYMU Aging and Health Research Center is in charge of this project. Director Chen assessed Chairman Shih’s cognitive function based on his data and remarked that Shih’s memory performance was above average; his reaction processing speed was good, especially in the maze game. An average person would make repeated mistakes, but Shih strategically searched for a way out and seldom repeated a route. His performance was better than many young people. Chen also pointed out that, based on the health status of Shih’s brain, some parts might have suffered injury because of his stroke many years ago, but the results were still within the normal range for individuals of his age. Looking at the health status of the gray matter of the brain, the physiological age was assessed as about 60 years old, which shows that, with self-rehabilitation after stroke, the nerves have been activated very well.


Shih remarked that after he retired, he would wake up every day to think about how to innovate. As a result, even after a stroke, he relied on his perseverance to activate his brain. From the examination results, his strategy has been very effective. Shih said that he would encourage more elderly individuals to use their brains more actively and he also believes that this would be helpful in reducing aging and preventing dementia. Shih expects game software companies to be able to launch unique medically based games in the future and enter the international market.


Chairman Shih and his wife (first and second of the front roll) visited National Yang-Ming University to support age and health research


Liu, chairman of the game software company USERJOY, said that multi-disciplinary cooperation between the three game software companies, National Yang-Ming University and StanShih Foundation would result in investment in the innovative "Games for Anti-aging" research and that this would also create new opportunities for the video game industry.


President Guo emphasized that this study has a very high verification standard in that it uses scientific methods to test the anti-aging capabilities of games. He believes that accumulating studies on games and anti-aging in Taiwan will not only set a benchmark for the global medical community, but also help game software companies to develop new anti-aging games in the future.


Jiang, general manager of International Game System Co., stressed that with a good attitude, one does not age easily. Since games create both fun and challenges, the elderly should be able to participate more effectively and this will promote their physical and mental health. Zhou, Chairman of Bonus Winner Entertainment Co., also said that many games can be played during the spare time available during one’s daily life. They are not limited to a specific time and there is no limitation on the number of participants, which is unlike many other health activities. You can participate in a competition any time, achieve a sense of accomplishment while advancing in the game, and at the same time also make more friends expanding your life circle.


Director Chen said that anti-aging intervention through games is a very forward-looking study. Recent preliminary studies have found that games can increase hippocampus and cerebellar volume, and it should be noted that shrinkage of these two parts of the brain is significantly associated with premature aging.