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Today in Nerd History | April 17

Sharpen those pencils and polish your crowns, because today we’re celebrating a pair of pop culture phenoms that not only entertained us but also challenged our minds and seized our imaginations. On April 17, we turn our attention to the brain-bending puzzles of “Brain Age” on the Nintendo DS and the epic battles for power in the world of “Game of Thrones” on HBO. From testing your mental mettle to navigating the treacherous politics of Westeros, let’s dive into some “Nerdy Facts” that highlight why these titles have carved out their legendary status in the annals of nerd history.

2006: Brain Age (DS)

“Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day!” hit the Nintendo DS with a collection of puzzles and tasks designed to give your brain a workout, inspired by the work of neuroscientist Dr. Ryuta Kawashima.

 

Nerdy Facts:

  • Based on Science: The game is inspired by the research of Dr. Ryuta Kawashima, focusing on keeping your brain active with simple arithmetic, reading exercises, and Sudoku puzzles, purportedly to help reduce the effects of aging on the brain.
  • Speak Up: Utilizing the DS’s microphone, “Brain Age” includes several voice recognition tasks, requiring players to read aloud or verbally solve math problems, making it a truly interactive brain-training experience.
  • Worldwide Phenomenon: “Brain Age” became a surprise hit, appealing to a broad demographic far beyond traditional gamers, from children to seniors, and contributing significantly to the Nintendo DS’s massive success as a gaming platform.
2011: Game of Thrones (HBO)

“Game of Thrones” premiered on HBO, quickly becoming a cultural juggernaut. Based on George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” series, the show captivated audiences with its intricate plot, complex characters, and, of course, its dragons.

 

Nerdy Facts:

  • A Cast of Thousands: Over the course of its eight seasons, “Game of Thrones” featured a sprawling cast, with hundreds of speaking roles and a world that felt truly lived-in, thanks to its detailed lore and history.
  • Filming on Location: The series was shot in various stunning locations around the world, from the rugged landscapes of Northern Ireland to the sunny shores of Croatia, adding a layer of authenticity and beauty to the Seven Kingdoms.
  • Record-Breaking: “Game of Thrones” wasn’t just a hit with fans; it also became one of the most awarded series in Emmy history, earning numerous accolades for its writing, acting, and production values, including a record-breaking number of Emmy wins for a scripted television series.

April 17 is a day to celebrate the power of entertainment to engage our brains and transport us to other worlds. Whether you’re calculating the quickest way to connect trains in “Brain Age” or debating the best strategy to claim the Iron Throne, today reminds us of the diverse ways we can challenge ourselves and escape into the fantastic. So, here’s to keeping our minds sharp and our hearts ready for adventure. Happy Nerd History Day to all who love to learn, strategize, and immerse themselves in the stories we love.

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Station Manager of LTN Radio and co-host of the "Nerd History Podcast" & the "Two Words Podcast". Matt is a third-generation radio station manager who has done pretty much every job in the radio industry. Matt is the father of two boys and a little girl. It's probably the best thing about him.

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