Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Poor Mario

I want to take a moment and mourn the fact that "Super Mario Bros." is no longer the best-selling video game of all time. Yep, it's finally been passed by "Wii Sport."

I'm in a weird age bracket, sort of. For most kids, their childhood featured three different generations of video game systems. People born a couple years before me got to live through Atari, the NES and systems like Super Nintendo or Genesis. In terms of the history of video games, that's the second through fourth generation of systems, with the first generation being things like Magnavox Odyssey, which came out in 1972.

I was a little too young to have ever wanted an Atari. The only friends I had with one where kids with older siblings. So the first system I ever owned was an NES, which means the first video game I ever played at my own house was "Super Mario Bros." I received the system really early on, for my birthday back in 1986, which was only a mere six months or so after the system came to America.

When I was a young kid, I can remember spending hours upon hours trying to beat "Super Mario Brothers" and, to be honest, I don't think I could ever do it without using warp zones. But, you know, I've never been much of a video game kind of guy.

I never owned a Super Nintendo or any of the later systems like a PlayStation, XBox or anything even newer. Little Nicholas has a Wii and it's about the most fun possible, but I have no desire to scope out and find and then wait in line to pay to buy one. If someone walked over to my desk right now and said I could have this brand new Wii for whatever they cost, I would pay and be happy. But that's not going to happen, is it?

And because of this, I'm kind of nostalgic about my old NES and "Super Mario Brothers." I had a lot of fun playing with that system. And from the limited experience I've had with later games on newer systems, it's all way too complicated and not nearly enough fun. Do I want to spend 100 hours trying to master a game? Nope. I could finish "Super Mario Brothers" and other similar fare in a couple hours, leaving plenty of time to still play loads of kickball, Wiffleball and every other outdoor sport my friends and I would play daily as a kid.

So let's pass the torch from "Super Mario Brothers" to "Wii Sport." The only thing I know about the new best-selling game of all time is that when Little Nicholas first got his Wii, he wanted another controller and went to a video-game store to purchase one. He loves to tell this story.

So he goes in asks for a controller, and the young kid behind the counter says, "We don't have any controllers, but we have 'Wii Sport'." Little Nicholas responds, "Yeah, but when will you have controllers?" And the kid repeats, "We have 'Wii Sport'."

This went on for a while until the apparently socially inept kid — too many video games I bet — told Nick that "Wii Sport" came with a controller.

Anyway, let's all mourn "Super Mario Brothers" now. I'm wearing black when I got out tonight.

1 comment:

sj said...

i didn't have video games as a child (one of three girls, but we did have things like... a pony and goats and a sheep). but i did play nintendo at a friend's house. i loved super mario brothers, but never got far into it.

however, i did break out the atari controller that plugs into your TV this weekend during the snowstorm and learned that i am no good at video games.