Tag Archives: super mario

Talking to Strangers about Video Games

Imagine you met someone who has never played a video game. Now imagine you had to explain a Mario game to them. In this silly post, I imagine the conversation would go a little something like this.

Me: Hey, so I played this awesome Mario game the other day. It’s brand new.

Stranger: Who’s Mario?

Me: He’s a plump Italian plumber with a bushy mustache, overalls and a red cap. The cap has an “M” on it. He also has a lanky brother named Luigi who also has a matching cap.

Stranger: Oh, so it’s some kind of plumbing simulator? How thrilling.

Me: Ha, no that’s hardly the case. See, Mario travels fictional worlds to save a princess from evil forces.

Stranger: Oh, cool, it sounds like a medieval legend. Is there a fire-breathing dragon?

Me: Well not quite. There’s an evil dragon-like creature named Bowser. He breathes fire too. Bowser also has a lot of evil henchmen who try to stop Mario.

Stranger: Are the henchmen dragons too, or magicians or knights or warlocks?

Me: Uh, among others, there are giant bullets, flying turtles, evil concrete blocks and toad-like brown creatures with permanent sneers and fangs.

Stranger: That sounds weird. Well, what’s the setting like? I mean what’s the world like?

Me: Well, sometimes you visit a magical Mushroom Kingdom full of giant mushrooms. You’ll even find people in that world wear mushrooms on their heads. Sometimes the mushrooms are painted in bright neon colours. And you can touch mushrooms to become invincible or grow bigger and stomp on every bad guy.

Stranger: All those rainbow coloured mushrooms makes the game sound very psychedelic. Far out man! Are the main characters high on drugs?

Me: Gee, ya know, I guess it does sound kind of psychedelic. I never thought about that before. But no—the main characters are not high on drugs.

Stranger: Oh, man, this conversation has given me the munchies something fierce.

Me: Well, see you around. Go check out the Mario games when you get a chance.

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Filed under Non Gamers, Video Game Misc.

Video Games Teach Anything Is Possible

Difficult and challenging games are always fun for me. An easy game will put me to sleep, but a challenging one gets my undivided attention.

Why is that? I know I can beat any human problem with a cup of patience and a tablespoon of strategy.

A good example are the comets that appear in Super Mario Galaxy. These comets create challenges, like racing against the clock. A couple of years ago, these challenges seemed daunting to me. After all, a busy life had estranged me from video games during my late teens and early twenties. Galaxy nudged me in the ribs and laughed at my lack of experience. At first, I gave in. I shook my head in disbelief, saying “This is impossible. I can’t do x, y or z.” I was wrong.

Sometimes I need to stop and think to solve the problem. Sometimes I need to plod through trial and error, rinse and repeat. Then sometimes I just rush in and things work out. Go figure.

When it’s all over, I feel pretty good about myself for having overcome all the game’s challenges. I sometimes like that an achievement cements that accomplishment for me. I’m left with a warm, fuzzy feeling.

What is that good feeling? I think it’s confidence. It’s feeling confident enough to solve big problems that seem impossible. After overcoming one challenge, I’m likely to try an even harder problem while believing in myself.

Beating a difficult game or part makes me think I can do anything. Hmmm tell me more about these Dark Souls games.


Bonus post: Goldilocks & the Three Games

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Filed under Video Game Misc.