Who would have thought that one could actually quantify the difficulty of a computer game based on mathematics? That is what an analysis of the computational complexity in video games revealed, touting titles from Mario and the Legend of Zelda series to be difficult after being classed as NP-hard where mathematical problems are concerned. This would mean that for a particular game level, it could prove rather difficult for the gamer to solve. While commercial versions of games were designed to be doable, Erik Demaine of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and colleagues performed their research on versions that had no such constraints. His team then transformed each game into a certain kind of logical puzzle known as the Boolean satisfiability problem. It will ask questions as to whether the variables in a bunch of logical statements can be selected, eventually leading to all the other statements being true, or along the way, will some of the statements cause contradiction of one another? As a gamer, you can now tell your mom that you’re doing ‘homework’ that’s harder than what school dishes out to you.

Filed in Gaming. Read more about Mario.

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