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Communications of the ACM

ACM TechNews

Bilingual Game App Aims to Stave Off Dementia

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Seniors try the game.

The study found seniors who played specially-designed cognitive games presented in two languages over two to three months showed significant improvement in their cognitive skills and verbal memory.

Credit: Singapore University of Technology and Design

A multilingual app developed by researchers at the Singapore University of Technology and Design aims to use gamification to help ward off dementia in older adults.

The app stems from research that found seniors who play bilingual cognitive games can achieve a bigger improvement in cognitive skills and verbal memory within two to three months than those who don't game, or who play monolingual games.

Ami, geared toward seniors who are cognitively healthy or show signs of the early-to-moderate stages of dementia, features three touch-screen games in six languages and dialects.

An avatar is used to provide instructions, prompts, and assistance during the game, allowing players who cannot read to play.

A pilot test of Ami showed that more than 85% of users said the app was enjoyable, easy to play, and good brain exercise.

From Singapore University of Technology and Design
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