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Culture

President Bush's 'Brain Age'

A Nintendo spokesman confirmed to CNET News.com that President Bush did, indeed, receive a copy of "Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day" and a from the company for his 60th birthday. The small white dual-screen portable game device is not such an unusual gift; the President's fondness for his iPod is well-known.

Nintendo gift

Included with the gifts was a birthday letter:

"Don't worry, turning 60 is an exciting milestone. As you know, you've joined millions of other baby boomers in an invigorating new decade of your life. And, like many boomers, you may be looking for ways to keep your mind sharp. That's where we come in." The letter is signed: "Have a tremendous birthday! Sincerely, Your Friends at Nintendo."

"Brain Age" contains several types of puzzle games designed to stimulate and keep the brain "young" and sharp. Interestingly enough, many of the exercises require a player to respond verbally to questions.

A series of tests determines a player's so-called brain age. The idea is that a few minutes of puzzles each day helps improve sharpness and critical thinking.

While its logic seems counterintuitive to the common idea that people get smarter as they get older, the game gives players a lower age score as they pass the tests. The multimedia puzzles employ all of the DS Lite's features, including a stylus pen, a touch screen, a microphone and speakers.

First available in Japan, Nintendo released the American version of Brain Game in April for $20. The Nintendo DS Lite sells for between $130 and $150.