I (probably, eh, might have) increased the size of my brain – and you can too!

Back in 2010, I wrote a post called “I’m always right on the cusp of video game trends (of 15 years ago).” Yeah I know. Really nice, smooth title. Anyway, I wrote about how, after four months of playing Super Mario 64 with my little brother every time I visited home from college, we had finally beat the game. Well, I finally beat the game. Samuel supported me in his own way: by jumping up and down and telling me not to lose.

Despite how awful it might sound, it was actually an awesome way to spend time with my six year old brother. Now we mostly make vines together.

I’m content with how I spent my time at home during those months. What else was I supposed to do, study and pull my GPA up during my last semester of college?

Turns out, I may have done my brain some good anyway. A recently published study in Molecular Psychiatry found that playing Super Mario 64 for thirty minutes a day over a period of two months increased brain volume in the areas that control “spatial navigation, strategic planning, working memory and motor performance.” 

So, yes, mom. Playing Super Mario 64 was a valuable use of my time.*

*Just kidding, she never questioned our commitment to the game and might have even encouraged it because it at least kept Samuel in constant movement. He was very worried about me losing.

I’m always right on the cusp of video game trends (of 15 years ago)

After a four month long struggle and about eighty fights with my bossy 6 year old brother I finally beat Super Mario 64. I’ve had the game since I was like 8 or something but could never get my shit together enough to beat it until now. So thank you college for somehow making me better at Nintendo and helping me to gain respect from my little brother. OR SO I THOUGHT!

Because the exact same day that I beat the game my brother got Super Mario for his Nintendo DS. This was our conversation.

Me: Oh my god! Samuel!! I finally won Super Mario, look!


Me: SAMUEL. You have been asking me every day to play this game and win stars. LOOK. I have won the game and ALL. OF. THE. STARS.

Samuel: ….I got a new game for my DS. Will you win stars for me?

But I am no good at DS because I have fat fingers as well as a hint of carpal tunnel. I kept making excuses to Samuel for why I couldn’t play his new game and eventually he moved on. But I found that I missed playing Nintendo 64 so I looked through the other games that we had. I’d already mastered Mario Kart. Mario Party gets boring. I always hated that dumb Wave Race game and I didn’t know where the hell our Superman game came from but I had about as much interest in playing it as I did in seeking an alternate form of entertainment that was non-electronic.

Then I found this game:

So basically that is what I’ll be doing today.