Man, to think that Super Mario has been around for thirty years today – he’s become an icon not only to Nintendo, but to video gamers. Yup, today is the 30th anniversary for our Italian plumber. Even for those who do not play games, the Italian plumber with his red shirt, blue overalls, and trademark white gloves is easily recognizable. His creator, none other than Shigeru Miyamoto, wanted Mario to become his version of Mickey Mouse. According to Miyamoto:
“I really wanted him to make my Mickey Mouse. I wanted to use him in all the different games I made. My hope was that 10 or 20 years down the road, he would be the iconic character of video games. I feel tremendously fortunate that’s what came to pass.”
One of the other notes that Miyamoto mentioned is in regards to the success of Mario as a character and as a franchise, which boils down to the fact that the level design has not changed significantly since its launch. The franchise evolved with the rise of technology and while it only had a limit of five Koopas that could be placed on the screen at once initially, now it can hold many, is in three dimensions, and allowed for the game to focus on the game play instead of the story.
With the release of Super Mario Maker for the Nintendo Wii U earlier this week, Nintendo has finally relinquished control of their flagship franchise, but it was a move that was built to let us play with the creativity in our minds, rather than use it as a means to retire the character. Super Mario is dear to the hearts of many, and it is going to be very interesting to see where the series heads off to in its next titles, and whether or not they will be able to reach out to different generations of gamers, as we have been enjoying for years now.
Source: New York Times