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Why Depart from Perfection?

Or "Don't alienate the 'Mario Generation'"
By Mandy Rose Owston

    Mario? Too childish? Don't make me laugh.

    I grew up on Mario (making me 18 now, a prime member of the "Mario Generation" who first calloused their little elementary-school thumbs on those shiny red buttons, eyes aglow with the 8-bit blue lights of those ever-changing, awe-inspiring worlds of the original SMB.....).

    Although I know that I defy stereotyping (because yes, I am a girl and yes, I am in love with the Mario Bros. games), I completely disagree with Nintendo's new "mature Mario" approach. Mario's supposed to by cute to a degree. That's part of his charm, a happy-go-lucky everyday guy who cares about others, not some cocky, ugly rodent who needs an exterminator.

    And what's wrong with the N64? It's new (as systems go)... the NES lasted practically forever (and I know quite a few people who still play regularly). As a new college student (with very limited budget) I can't afford new systems every other year. Since my age group (the college kids now) are the original Mario audience (from the early days), shouldn't Nintendo be asking what we want, not telling us what we're getting whether we like it or not?

    There are dozens of violent, realistic games out there that I wouldn't touch with a 10-foot pipe. Yet many players unanimously come back to Mario. Why? Because it's like an escape to a friendlier, happier time. Nostalgia. Almost like a fantastical playground free from everyday angst and trouble. And that's why players come back. Not only for the innovative game ideas, or for the new technology, but because in playing these games, they find an inner sense of fun, a childhood they never realized they still possessed. I don't know about you, but I don't want a "better, mature" Mario. I want my favorite Italian Brooklynite plumbers. Those 2 heroic guys I fell in love with almost 15 years ago. Cutesy or not, they define video gaming. Don't redefine them.

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