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What is the importance of Super Mario?

If the video game industry has anything that anyone anywhere can recognise straight away, it’s none other than that Italian plumber Mario. But when you think about it, why is that? Why is it that when most people think of video games; Mario is the one thing that comes to mind. Well I’m about to delve into why when it comes to all of video games greatest icons, it’s that pesky plumber who is the prime one. First off let’s get into the main reasons why I think he’s so recognisable, his legacy. No matter how old you are you know that you’ve played a Mario game at least one time in your life time, it’s impossible not to have. Whether you started all the way back to his very first title, or to his latest; you will have played at least one of his titles. That’s cements one of the main reasons he’s a recognisable character, it’s the fact he’s had some part in your gaming life somewhere along the line. Another reason that he is recognisable to many people is the fact he’s a simple. He’s not a magical knight, or a badass army general. He’s just an Italian plumber, who jumps around and saves the princess from a dinosaur. The problem with been recognisable sometimes is the fact that characters can be far too complex in terms of characteristics and visuals for people to understand and recognise. You ask a women on the street who Commander Shepard is, they’ll shrug their shoulders. But ask them who Super Mario is and she’ll be able to tell you straight away. Why? Because people can understand and recognise a simpler identity much easier. I know simple isn’t always better, but there can’t be much of a complex background behind Mario, he’s an Italian plumber from Brooklyn! This leads me to the other part of this article, if Mario is the most recognisable and simplest of video game icons; then why is he the most important of them? Well this is because he is a reminder of what games started  out as, what they were built for; to be simple and fun! Now don’t get me wrong I am all for an evolving industry that no longer restrains itself to be simple, the more complex games pay of quite well some times. But considering how far the video game industry has come, it must be required that we look back on what made it what it is. Back in the early days of Super Mario Bros and Legend of Zelda, there was nothing too complex to the games themselves, they gave you a challenge and made you work to finish it. There wasn’t any branching storylines, no subtle and emotional themes; it was just go there do this then proceed to the next level. It was fun, it was simple, and it was exactly what we enjoyed. Video games of today owe their credit to Mario, he is the symbol of what games always need to be; fun! Without a fun experience what is a game providing you? In the end Mario will always stand the test of time and still to this day stands as Nintendos main mascot. In the days to come, when your children and grandchildren asked you what game they should to play, grab you NES, give them Super Mario Bros and let them enjoy the experiences we did so long ago. Here’s to you Mario, continue doing what you do best!  

Categories: Features, Nintendo

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  1. Not to mention Super Mario Bros pretty much singlehandedly reversing the crash of ’83 and saving the home gaming industry.