I want to give a shout-out to the incredible team behind Super Mario Bros. Wonder! I recently finished the game, and the final boss battle blew me away. I even shed a tear, which is a first for me when it comes to video games!
The game design was remarkable and got me thinking about how to apply similar principles to learning. It would be fantastic if we could find ways to incorporate learning elements into commercial video games like Super Mario Bros. Wonder. There is so much potential for making an impact beyond entertainment.
There is also an experimental box! Observing players’ behaviors and responses to the characters can yield valuable insights. Did you free the flower from the ice or crystal?
The assertive voice of the flower, which some people love, and others hate, has much potential. I have started hearing the flower’s voice as a sort of inner speech, encouraging me to keep going when I’m struggling with a task. “You can do it! “… or when I need to go somewhere “Go go gooo!” The music is also really catchy and stays in your head, which can be both amusing and annoying.
What I appreciate most about Super Mario Bros. Wonder is how it guides and teaches the player without needing explicit tutorials. The mix of sounds, images, and haptics is perfectly choreographed! The wonder seed transforms your virtual entity into a variety of forms in a sensitive way. Suddenly, you embody a jelly ball or have an enlarged, colourless body.
I did notice, though, that some levels use special effects, such as the change from slow to fast motion, which has raised concerns as players have reported perceptual distortions and slow motion after playing. In my research on Game Transfer Phenomena (GTP), I have found that these effects can sometimes cause distress or discomfort, and younger players are even more susceptible. The only thing that I can say at this point is that the levels in Super Mario Bros. Wonder are short and did not have any lasting negative impact on me.
Have some game melodies gotten stuck in your head, or have you heard a command from the flower after playing?
Are you thinking about the game when you see flowers?
Have the game had some impact on you after playing?