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If you’re looking for yet another reason to head to Austin for the SXSW festival (that is, aside from the film showings, technology expos, concerts and cookie-and-milk creations), there’s also a real-life Mario Kart track. Motor oil company Pennzoil teamed with Nintendo to bring the classic video game to life using virtual “weapons” (like banana peels and turtle shells) to slow riders as they race around the game-inspired track. Each cart is also equipped with a GoPro camera that captures the action in real-time, displaying the game-like experience to spectators on a big screen. Though reviewers from The Verge said that the execution of the augmented reality race required too much suspension of disbelief, if you ask us, the idea still sounds pretty epic ... Discuss

 

You may want to go ahead and fire up that old Nintendo—science has just confirmed that a daily dose of video games will actually make you smarter. A German research team observed two groups: One that played Super Mario 64 for 30 minutes a day, and one that played no video games. After a two month period, the team found that the group that played Super Mario daily, showed significant increases of grey matter throughout the brain. In a report, the lead researcher said, “The present study can demonstrate the direct causal link between video gaming and a volumetric brain increase.” The researchers said that in the future, they hope to use the findings to create specially designed games that can be used to treat patients suffering from PTSD, schizophrenia and stress through a sort of video game therapy … Discuss

 

Go ahead and cancel your afternoon plans, because if you were a fan of Nintendo, the rest of your day is now spoken for. At FullScreenMario.com you can play the original Super Mario Bros. video game in its entirety and even create your own custom levels. Just, a heads up, the HTML5 site only runs on Chrome. Thank you to the bored programming genius who made this dream a reality … Discuss

 

This is what some people in the business like to call the “wow-factor”: On a recent trip to her local Goodwill thrift store, a woman in North Carolina recognized a Nintendo game on the for-sale rack from an old online news article—it was the “Holy Grail” of grey cartridges. It turns out that “Stadium Events”, which she purchased for $8, is an incredibly rare video game artifact that was recalled after only 200 were sold in 1986. Nintendo ended up buying the idea for the game and launching their “Power Pad” add-on shortly after. The unidentified woman said she will use her windfall to pay off some student loans, though why not also purchase her very own Power Glove oven mitt? … Discuss