Super Mario turned 30 Sunday (September 13) and what better way to celebrate than gaming together?
Industry blog Nintendo Life details how the Italian plumber’s 30th birthday started with the release of Super Mario Bros. in Japan before the plumber and his brother Luigi crossed the Pacific and made a splash in the United States and Canada.
“From a Western perspective it was the release of the game alongside the NES in North America later that year that set in motion a chain of events that would eventually see the 8-bit console rule that lucrative marketplace, establishing the Super Mario brand in popular culture. That first entry may be relatively primitive compared to successors, particularly the 8-bit Super Mario Bros. 3, with the inability to scroll the screen left and a mix of planned and unplanned glitches. Yet it shouldn’t be underestimated how much it was a revelation for home console gaming at that time. Gamers were more accustomed to the bleeps and blips of Atari, and so the NES and its launch title in NA felt distinctly ‘next-gen.'”
As the years passed, Super Mario and its sibling games evolved into a cultural force unlike many others and found their way onto new game consoles including the N64, the Wii, and the current generation Wii-U.
As the Deseret News in Salt Lake City points out, while the world of gaming was simplistic in the mid-1980s, gaming as progressed through the three decades since Super Mario become part of the international gaming lexicon. It has become more violent with many point-of-view shooter games (i.e. Call of Duty) and others, like Grand Theft Auto, coming to the market and changing gaming from a simple plumber and his brother running through pipes to something more adult-like, with ratings to reflect the change.
But Deseret notes that gaming together, especially for families, can have positive impacts on children.
“Parents can also video games to teach their child life lessons. Researchers at Arizona State University have created impact guides that feature popular games and instruct parents on how to generate learning moments while playing.”
“Parents miss a huge opportunity when they walk away from playing video games with their kids,” researcher Elisabeth Hayes told ASU News. “Gaming with their children offers parents countless ways to insert their own teaching moment.”
Do you remember purchasing your first NES system with Super Mario as your first video game? Let us know in the comments section below.
[Photo via Flickr Creative Commons]