According to a new study conducted by neuroscientists at University of California, the complex spatial information in 3D games can boost cognitive function. Suddenly I feel all the wiser for my days-long N64 binges…

via Telegraph:

Scientists just can’t agree whether video games will save you or kill you: some say it makes you distracted or aggressive, others that it helps hand-eye coordination and brain power.

New research from the Journal of Neuroscience shows another win for video games – playing 3D games like Super Mario 3D World boosted people’s memories by 12 per cent over two weeks.

That’s the same amount it reportedly decreases between the ages of 45 and 70.

As part of the study, neuroscientists at University of California, Irvine recruited university students with no gaming experience to play either Angry Birds (a 2D game on their mobiles) or Super Mario 3D World, which has an “intricate, 3D setting.” The students played for 30 minutes per day over two weeks.

“The 3D games have a few things the 2D ones do not,” said Craig Stark, one of the authors of the study. “They’ve got a lot more spatial information in there to explore. Second, they’re much more complex, with a lot more information to learn.”