Playing games online is never a waste of time on Lumosity.com, not to be confused with the closely spelled Luminosity web publishing tool. Since 2007, Lumos Labs, a San Francisco, California based company, has provided a great way to boost your mental acumen. Supported by cognitive research from several well known research laboratories and a scientific advisory board, Lumosity boasts subscriptions to over 11 million members in 190 countries.
To get started, members login and create a free user profile. A meaningful subset of the full product offering is then available to play around with while users decide whether or not to hand over their hard earned money. The site offers a baseline score, comparing each user's mental abilities to scores of other users from the site. Then a graph showing the trend of the resulting brain performance index (BPI) is created. This metric is designed to both give a relative determination of one's mental fitness and let the user know how much they've improved their average scores over time. As a side note, Lumosity recently rated Cleveland, Ohio #74 on its list of the country's top 188 smartest cities based upon their mean BPI scores.
Forty different and unique games create an often complex but visually enticing environment for those hungry self improvement users striving to improve their cognitive speed, memory, attention to detail, and spatial awareness, among other metrics included on the site. While playing, users can expect to see hints from other game players on how to improve their scores, and their brains. The site setup allows configuration of settings for:
- the Lumosity newsletter,
- reminder emails,
- links to the website for training,
- awards for reaching training milestones.
If anything at all is missing from the site, it is an automated feature informing the user of which game type would best enhance their improvement strategy. Apparently, leaving users to decide for themselves which games to play works better when marketing to new subscribers. Nevertheless, scores are provided that allow each subscriber to rate themselves against other users of the site.