In a 2013 study, people (23 out of 48 in the training group), who played Super Mario 64 for two months for at least 30 min per day, changed their brain’s spatial navigation processing.
They changed from navigating based on their own position in the world (egocentric navigation) to navigating the world based on the relative location of other objects in it (allocentric navigation). This was shown by a gray matter and size increase in participants’ hippocampi, the seahorse-shaped part of your brain responsible for memory.
The scientists also argued that because of this area’s increase, playing Super Mario 64-type games could be used to offset post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, and neurodegenerative disease. Bold claims.
Read the full study
Kühn, S., Gleich, T., Lorenz, R. et al. Playing Super Mario induces structural brain plasticity: gray matter changes resulting from training with a commercial video game. Mol Psychiatry 19, 265–271 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1038/mp.2013.120