Psychological Effects of Super Mario Game

Super Mario, the video game created by Nintendo, has been a household name for decades. It has been a favorite for both children and adults alike since its release in 1985. The game has evolved over the years with improved graphics, sound, and gameplay, but its core elements remain the same. Super Mario is a side-scrolling game where the player must guide the character, Mario, through different levels, obstacles, and enemies to rescue Princess Peach from the evil Bowser.

The psychological effects of Super Mario on children have been a subject of interest for many researchers. Studies have shown that playing video games, including Super Mario, can have both positive and negative impacts on children’s development. In this article, we will focus on the positive psychological effects of Super Mario on children during its heyday in the 1980s and 1990s.


Development of Spatial Reasoning and Motor Skills

One of the most notable effects of Super Mario on children was the development of spatial reasoning and motor skills. Super Mario required players to navigate through different levels, which required the use of spatial reasoning, or the ability to mentally manipulate objects in three-dimensional space. Players had to judge distances, make precise movements, and anticipate the movements of enemies, which improved their spatial reasoning skills. Additionally, the game required a significant amount of hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills, which helped to improve children’s motor skills.


Improved Problem-Solving Skills and Decision-Making Abilities

Super Mario was also known for its puzzle elements, which required players to think critically and solve problems. Players had to analyze situations and make decisions based on limited information to progress through the levels. This helped to improve children’s problem-solving skills and decision-making abilities. Research has shown that playing video games, including Super Mario, can improve problem-solving skills in children and adolescents.


Increased Perseverance and Persistence

Super Mario was a challenging game that required players to try many times before successfully completing a level. This required a great deal of perseverance and persistence, as players had to keep trying despite repeated failures. The game rewarded players for their persistence by allowing them to progress to the next level, which encouraged children to persevere and persist in other areas of their lives. Studies have shown that playing video games, including Super Mario, can improve perseverance and persistence in children.


Enhanced Creativity and Imagination

Super Mario was a game that encouraged creativity and imagination. Players were given a wide range of tools and abilities to use in order to solve puzzles and progress through levels. This allowed children to experiment with different strategies and develop their own unique solutions to problems. The game’s vibrant colors, characters, and environments also sparked children’s imaginations, inspiring them to create their own stories and adventures. Studies have shown that playing video games, including Super Mario, can enhance creativity and imagination in children.


Increased Socialization and Cooperation

Super Mario was also a game that encouraged socialization and cooperation. The game had a two-player mode that required two players to work together in order to progress. This encouraged children to communicate and cooperate with one another in order to achieve a common goal. The game also encouraged children to share their strategies and techniques with one another, which helped to develop their socialization and cooperation skills. Studies have shown that playing video games, including Super Mario, can increase socialization and cooperation in children.


In summary, the psychological benefits of playing Super Mario on children during the 80s and 90s were significant. The game was shown to enhance multiple areas of development, including spatial reasoning, problem-solving skills, perseverance and persistence, creativity and imagination, and socialization and cooperation. Despite concerns about the potential negative effects of video games on children, Super Mario has stood out as a game that had a largely positive impact on the young minds of its time. Its legacy lives on, and its impact on children’s development has been studied and celebrated for decades.