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100-year-old woman feels 80, thanks to Nintendo DS

Kathleen Connell shown with her Nintendo DS portable game system
Kathleen Connell shown with her Nintendo DS portable game systemSWNS via YouTube

Meet Kathleen "Kit" Connell, who just turned 100, but claims to not feel a day over 80. And the secret of her youthful vitality? A Nintendo DS.

Dubbed "Britain's oldest gamer" by The Sun, Kit is an elderly lady who just passed the century mark last Friday, yet manages to live alone and maintain high spirits, despite having lost both of her legs.

The key to her mental state, she says, is Nintendo's portable device. Given to Kit on her 96th birthday by her daughter, the DS is now a staple of her everyday routine. She uses it so much, the original unit wore out and had to be replaced.

Kit explains that games like "Brain Age" keep her mind sharp, especially at an age in which her memory would otherwise be failing her. The game assesses that she has a "mental age" score of 64, which is impressive when one considers that many who are in their 30s often get the same score.

Here, in a video by the UK's Small World News Service, posted to YouTube, Kit explains why the DS is so important for her:

As you possibly saw, Kit has quite the impressive collection of games, mostly built around puzzle solving, along with titles that calls upon a player's artistic abilities, like "Art Academy." We also see her interacting with "Pictochat," so Kit uses her DS as a communication tool as well.

In both the SWNS video and The Sun's article, Kit is emphatic about the benefits of Brain Age and similar software, not just for herself, but everyone of all ages, even school children.

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Matthew Hawkins is a NYC based game journalist who has also written for EGM, GameSetWatch, Gamasutra, Giant Robot, and numerous others. He also self-publishes his own game culture zine, is part of Attract Mode, and co-hosts of The Fangamer Podcast. You can keep tabs on him via Twitter, or his personal home-base,