Nintendo: Playing Super Mario Odyssey would relieve depressive symptoms, this study proves it – Phonandroid

Certain video games can be very helpful for your mental health, according to a new German study that examined the benefits of a popular Nintendo game: Mario Odyssey.

Super Mario Odyssey

German researchers have found evidence that the magical world of Mario in the game Super Mario Odyssey could serve as a therapeutic tool for people with major depressive disorder (MDD). The study, published in Frontiers of Psychology, focused on the cognitive symptoms of major depressive disorder, including mood, affect and cognitive impairments such as memory problems.

46 participants who were diagnosed with major depressive disorder took part in the study, divided into three groups. One group immersed themselves in the immersive landscapes of Super Mario Odyssey on the Nintendo Switch, while another group took part in a cognitive training computer program called CogPack. The third group underwent traditional treatments with psychotherapy and medication.

Also read – Super Mario Odyssey is so good it’s crashing the review sites

Playing Mario Odyssey can improve your mental health

After a period of six weeks The group that ventured into the vibrant world of Super Mario Odyssey reported a remarkable 50% decrease in self-reported MDD symptoms. In addition, this group showed greater motivation to continue treatment than their counterparts who used a cognitive training computer program (“CogPack”) or used standard treatments for these symptoms.

“The results show that after six weeks of training, the 3D video game group [le groupe “Super Mario Odyssey”] showed, according to self-report, a significant decrease in the proportion of participants with clinically significant depressive symptoms and a higher average motivation to exercise compared to the active control group,” the study authors conclude.

The study showed that participants had high levels of depressive symptoms experienced their condition deteriorating the most while playing Super Mario Odyssey. The study authors then discovered the potential of video game training as a cost-effective and viable intervention for patients with severe mental disorders. Apparently, Play sessions should always complement traditional treatment and regular therapyand are not intended to completely replace conventional treatment methods.

Super Mario Odyssey (2)

The study also focused on cognitive symptoms, focusing on memory and problem-solving skills rather than affective symptoms such as sadness. Previous research has shown that 3D games like Super Mario Odyssey target the hippocampus, a brain region associated with learning and memory.

Based on this, a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience in 2015 also found a 12 percent increase in memory performance for 3D video games compared to their 2D counterparts. Another 2017 study published in Nature found that 3D platform games contribute to an increase in gray matter in the hippocampus.

Further research is needed to draw conclusions for the study

If this new study is promising, the researchers acknowledge that the small size of the sample does not allow us to draw specific conclusions about the benefits of Mario Odyssey on symptoms of depression, even if These initial results suggest that this type of video gaming could have a positive impact on patients.

The study was also not blinded, meaning participants knew the group they were assigned to and could likely infer the aim of the research, which could skew the results. While we wait to learn more, we would like to remind you that Nintendo recently released another game in the Mario universe: Super Mario Bros. Wonder.


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