By John Walker on May 30th, 2012 at 9:00 pm.
Hey, what’s your IQ? Oh, really, mine is 30 points higher. I pity you. I’m bound to be SO much better at Mensa Academy when it comes out at the end of July.
IQ really is the silliest thing. As a measure of how good you are at IQ tests, it’s incredibly useful. For all other purposes it seems to not translate helpfully to mean anything. But this is of course not really a Mensa game, but a very belated Square Enix response to the Brain Age phenomenon that ended about four years ago. Which could well mean it’s time for it to happen all over again. To be released on 3DS, Wii and PC, it’s clearly aiming for the same crowd. But amongst the promised “fun and stimulating mini-games” will be questions that have been “endorsed” by Mensa! Imagine that!
So who knows where they’re really pitching this. The idea of something as immediately catchy as Brain Age, but with some questions that a dead frog couldn’t answer, does sound appealing. However, Square’s boast that IQ correlates with “intelligence” is perhaps one that requires some raised eyebrows and tutting. They boast it like this,
“Mensa Academy is the most credible game of its kind to date from the definitive experts in the field of measuring and fostering intelligence. The power of the mind is fascinating, the real challenge is how to best maximise its potential.”
I’m not sure that’s going to come about by being able to work out the next wiggly shape in a pattern, or know which word doesn’t mean “concerning”. I suspect engaging the power of the mind to maximise its potential is a little more complicated than playing a game with sums and memory tests. I do wish they wouldn’t market such things with all the woo, but rather just acknowledge it’s about mental stimulation. There’s lots to argue in favour of that, including studies that suggest such neuron activity may well hold off dementia. Go that way, rather than pretending it’s going to make us all smarter. It ain’t.
Still, I reckon it could be a fun thing if only it will feature some difficult questions – unlike every other brain training game ever. We’ll find out on the 27th July.
Oh, but if you’re promoting a game that’s about advancing skills with words and numbers, MAYBE DON’T PUT AN APOSTROPHE IN “100′s” ON THE FRONT PAGE OF YOUR WEBSITE.