Cabel Sasser of Panic blogs about Nintendo’s DS game 東北大学未来科学技術共同研究センター川島隆太教授監修 脳を鍛える大人のDSトレーニング. Which, he assures us, translates loosely as ‘Brain Training.’ It’s a cartridge of logic puzzles and the like that’s sold over 400,000 copies. In a week. He has some interesting observations on the demographics (which isn’t a phrase I type very often), and about the environment that’s allowed the not-game to take off.

Aside from the fact that there isn’t enough madshit Japanese lunacy in the West, I’m still fascinated by the continuing popularity of brain-teasing games. Crosswords and Countdown are well-established, of course, but my mum’s been doing logic puzzles for decades, and judging by the range of books in the local newsagent, she’s not alone. What’s surprising about the recent Sudoku craze – aside from my having missed it so totally I first noticed the game when literally everybody in my Victoria Line carriage was playing it, which slightly freaked me out – is the range of ages to which it appeals.

And then, of course, we have all the older stuff, from tamagotchi to Rubik’s cube, and de Bono’s stuff (anyone else remember The L Game?).

Hmm. Perhaps it’s time to find the next de Bono.