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The Beauty Game

Japanese women may soon be tapping on a Nintendo DS handheld game machine for beauty tips.

"Dream Skincare" is one of the recent efforts by Nintendo Co. to broaden the appeal of video gaming. Until recently, the gaming crowd has largely been young men fond of shooting and sports games.

But the Nintendo DS, which comes with two screens, including a touch panel, has been a big hit with older people and women with the introduction of new kinds of games to play, including brainteasers and virtual pet games.

In the new beauty application, players can input their daily body temperature and weight by marking a graph that shows up on the touch panel, according to Konami Corp., maker of the software.

The "beauty navigation software," as the company describes it, asks questions that a player answers about personal factors like skin tone and smoothness, exposure to sunlight and hours of sleep gotten.

Advice on a daily regimen for healthy skin pops up on the screen, including directions to drink more water or to eat apples and ginger, food that have a reputation for warming up the body.

Hormonal balance is key for avoiding wrinkles and age spots, and body temperature and weight fluctuations are good indicators of hormone swings, which can be caused by overwork and stress, according to Konami.

The company has not yet decided whether to market "Dream Skincare" overseas. It's set to go on sale in Japan in October 2007 for 4,500 yen, about $37.

"Many women want to maintain forever young and beautiful skin," Konami said in a statement.

The game shows video clips of Chizu Saeki, a Japanese beauty expert, demonstrating facial massages and skin-checkup techniques.

It also provides recipes designed to keep women looking good, and advice on "womanly manners," a statement from Konami says.

The company is better known for more macho games like "Metal Gear Solid."

Nintendo, the Kyoto-based company behind the Super Mario and Pokemon games, has shipped more than 40 million Nintendo DS machines worldwide.

The company also is widening the appeal of gaming with its Wii home console, which comes with a wand-like remote for virtual tennis and other easy-to-play games.

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