back to article Lumosity forks out $2m after claiming its 'brain training' games worked

Lumosity – the maker of games that supposedly increase your mental agility – has coughed up $2m after being accused of false advertising. And the San Francisco upstart will have to cut a further $50m check if it doesn't clean up its act. The money was extracted by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in an out-of-court …

  1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    Game world, real world

    "I caution Lumosity and other companies about making representations that overstate the benefits of these products or misleadingly imply that improvements in the game setting transfer to real-world benefits,"

    So is this an almost legal decision that what goes on the game world really doesn't translate into the real world? You know, like violent computer games, stealing virtual cars etc?

    1. Mike Shepherd

      Re: Game world, real world

      No, it's an indication that claims must be justified. Criticism of the defendant's failure to justify its claims does not imply that the reverse is true (or false).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Game world, real world

        The real complaint is the way Lumosity didn't disclose how they got their testimonials. The claims about brain improvement are not objective and so don't require legal proof. See Weasel Words.

        "Lumosity preyed on consumers' fears about age-related cognitive decline, suggesting their games could stave off memory loss, dementia, and even Alzheimer's disease," said Jessica Rich, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection. "But Lumosity simply did not have the science to back up its ads."

        So Jessica, you nailed them on the testimonials thing alone, and then felt justified in pretending it was all about some other kind of deceptive advertising. How deceptive of you.

  2. tom dial Silver badge

    So $15 per month, or $300 for a lifetime subscription - for those at risk of forgetting to pay regular bills within the next year or year and a half.

    I am suspicious of claims like Lumosity has been making, as it is unclear whether playing the games keeps one's brain from draining, or simply that those whose brains are more sound are able to keep playing them, and so look to Lumosity, and possibly themselves, like successes.

  3. Troy Peterson

    I was watching one of those adverts just yesterday thinking the same thing... Correlation does not equal causality. Do they really have proof that playing these games results in clear benefits or is it just that those people who already have sharper minds and are looking to test them tend to enjoy and buy into these things. I was looking at the advert wondering if there were clinical studies to back up the claims.

    From a logical point of view it does make sense to me that it may work. Their claims may be accurate. There certainly is some circumstantial evidence that logic games improve cognitive abilities... But anyone claiming real measurable benefits must show irrefutable proof.

    1. The First Dave Silver badge

      I saw quite a few adverts for them over Christmas, and thought that they were borderline at best - presumably not yet been enough complaints about them in Blighty.

    2. Jos V

      Good man

      Sure they work. Trust me. Now, if you send me $29,95 I will send you a quick study guide called "How to detect scams in 2 easy steps."

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Good man

        Thank you my "Good man". The money is now available at the respected and honest National Bank of Nigeria. I just need you to send me the $10 handling fee to setup you account for access.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019