Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Escapist Says Mario Is Unmarketable

Aaron Linde at The Escapist wonders if the world would accept Mario if he wasn't already so ingrained in mainstream culture.
As an icon, Mario is inseparable from the medium he represents, a name practically synonymous with the pastime, and like other creations brought about in gaming's infancy, absolutely absurd. Stare too long and you realize he's an overweight, mustachioed Italian stereotype who battles sentient turtles and grows to immense proportions when he comes in contact with mushrooms. But these are conventions of a universe that we've had over 20 years to become familiar with. Why does the mushroom make Mario big? Because it's a super mushroom. Duh.
But they accepted all that twenty years ago, why not now? Is the argument that people have become too literal minded and afraid of a little surrealism? Or does the improvement of graphics technology leave less room for playful abstraction? Linde won't settle the issue for you, but he might give you something to think about.

Image from Rob's SketchBlog.


Scott said...

Way to overanalyse something there, homeboy! Yeah, if you think about Mario in that way, it is really weird. But society abounds with weird shit that we enjoy. "Alice in Wonderland" is a drug-inspired story that is 5 times weirder than Mario, and that is required reading at some schools. Mario, on the other hand, has been made into many games of great fun over the dacades by Nintendo. Other weird things that we love? Spongebob. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Etc. There is nothing harmful that Mario is teaching our children (other than its cool to be a couch potato and eat yourself into obesety), so I'd recommend that guy just leave Mario alone. He really is an American icon that historians will be talking about in 200 years.

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