Super Mario 64Ladies and gentlemen of the gaming world, those entire summer breaks spent parked in front of that hulking box of a rear-projection TV (but it was 60-inches!) with your N64 controller in hand were actually productive despite what your mother said. Thanks to the hard work of researchers in Berlin, we now know that playing Super Mario 64 is scientifically proven to increase your brain size. Which goes to show that a lot of things your mother told you as a kid were probably false. So go ahead, stop listening to your mom, your brain is probably bigger than hers now anyway.

The experiment was conducted by Berlin-based research teams at Max Planck Institute for Human Development and Charite University Medicine St. Hedwig-Krankenhaus. A group of 23 adults were made to play Super Mario 64 on a Nintendo DS XXL handheld console for 30 minutes everyday for two months. The brainwaves of participants were measured using an MRI scan while they played and a non-gaming control group was also observed. At the end of the study, the gaming group experienced “significant” growth in the areas of the brain responsible for spatial orientation, memory formation and strategic planning compared to the control group.

Simone Kühn of the Max Planck Institute summarizes her team’s findings, stating, “the present study can demonstrate the direct causal link between video gaming and a volumetric brain increase. This proves that specific brain regions can be trained by means of video games.” The research team further hypothesizes that video games can be used in the future to treat patients with mental disorders such as schizophrenia, PTSD, and Alzheimer’s disease.

So don’t ever let anyone say that you play too many video games. Scientists say they’re good for you.

Source: MSN Japan via Hachima Kikou
Image: Mario Party Legacy