I've been bugging my dh for a Nintendo DS Lite for Christmas - I mean really bugging him! There are lots of games for adults on this system - which is a compact-put-it-in-your-purse harddrive for video games, and comes in white, black, red, and pink. You use a stylus to maneouver through the games. (I'm probably not telling you anything new if you have kids - this is one of the best-sellers out this Christmas)
There're three "Train Your Brain" type games for the DS Lite: Brain Age I, Brain Age II, and Brain Academy. These games are based on the research of a Japanese neuroscientist, Professor Ryuta Kawashima, who's work in neuroscience has proven that the more we exercise our brains via puzzles for memory, concentration, spatial awareness, and math, the "lower" our "brain's age" will be and the higher our mental acuity.
So, this is what I wanted for Christmas and have been ceaselessly mentioning the pink version to my dh,
Always the enterprising fellow, my dh found an online version of the DS Lite game, which you can download for $20.55 Canadian to your PC, as opposed to paying $139.99 for the DS Lite, plus $17.98 per game. (The other games are higher prices and vary considerably, but I'm only dealing with the Brain Age games here).
I've been doing the 14 day free trial of the PC version, and I must say it's fun, clever, and does challenge you considerably as you move into the higher levels. You get 30 free sessions of five different games to work on math, language, perception, attention, and cognitive reasoning. You can play these games as many times as you want to in the 30 days. Frankly, it's a real bargain. (so much for my dh's research abilities!)
The link is: Brain Train Age, which is a slightly different title to get away from copyright issues with Nintendo. However, Professor Kawashima designed both versions.
I highly recommend trying the 14 day trial as a "wake-up" to your daily writing regime. It's already helped me tremendously and I'm only on Day Three. It's fun, addictive, and challenging. And let's face it, the price is right. If you have a laptop, you can take it with you the same as carrying that cute pink/red/white/black compact computer in your purse. But if you want to splurge and get yourself one of those Nintendo DS Lites, you may have to share it with your kids, as they'll find out quickly enough how many fantastic games you can play on it, besides Brain Age!
P.S. If you lose your stylus, you can buy them three for $5.88 at WalMart, plus the DS Lite comes with two already. So, don't let anyone talk you out of it if you want to splurge on something fun and different for yourself this Christmas. We can all use a mental work-out that's more fun than banging our heads against the wall over plot points and descriptive narrative.
P.P.S. I have no idea why half of this post is under-lined. I couldn't fix it, and apologize for making it look like I've been writing for half-wits! If anyone knows how to fix this problem, plse put instructions in the Comments Section.
Again, have fun, and let me know if this works for you!