Why Artificial Intelligence Researchers Love 'Super Mario Bros'

Mark Riedl and Matthew Guzdial are AI researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where they use computer software to generate new Super Mario Bros. levels as a means of exploring how machines could one day help humans design games. One thing that makes Mario appealing to researchers such as themselves is a near-perfect balance between simplicity and complexity. Basically, the game’s mechanics pose some interesting challenges for algorithms, but aren’t so difficult that it’s impossible to solve.