Nintendo Co.'s Super Mario is displayed on coffee mugs for sale at the Nintendo World store in New York, U.S., on Friday, May 17, 2013.
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images
By Sam Frizell
March 16, 2015

Mario didn’t just want to run to the right just because he had an insatiable curiosity about what existed on the far side of your vintage Nintendo Game Boy. He was programmed to run forever to the right because that’s the way gamers’ brains like it, a new study surfaced by Gizmodo suggests.

Dr. Peter Walker, a a psychologist at Lancaster University, inspected thousands of still and moving pictures in Google Images, finding evidence of a “rightward bias . . . for photographs of animate and inanimate items in motion,” but “no bias or a leftward bias” for the same items when they were stationary.

“This could indicate a fundamental left-to-right bias for visual motion,” the study says, helping to explain why Mario runs from left to right, not the other way around.

Now if science could only explain why Princess Peach was always in another castle.

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