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The Monster and Mario

Y’all thought I was dead, didn’t you?  I’m not dead.

But we did just get a Wii.

(Which also explains why our clean laundry is literally waist-high.  Shit.)

We started with the same obligatory first-time Wii-ownership experience everyone has.  You know, playing all the lame Wii Sports games, feeling like a pair of jackasses while flapping our arms in the middle of the living room, creating our Miis, all that jazz.  Aaaahaha, how amusing are we?

That lasted maybe through the evening.  From there, we moved onto the ever-awesome Mario Kart, which taught me the importance of drifting, and that she who lives by the blue turtle shell dies by the blue turtle shell.  Oh, and that Kyle and I are waaaay too competitive to be allowed to play against each other.  (And that a Wii remote to the skull hurts, even when it’s in its protective rubber condom.)  And though I’ve never been a big video game person, I’m really getting hooked on the Kart of Mario.

But the game I’m absolutely addicted to is Super Mario Bros Wii.  That’s right, the old school, side-scroller , A-B-B-FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, JUMP!, Mario.  I can’t stop playing it.  And by, “can’t stop playing,” I mean, “Unless the couch is on fire, I won’t be blinking for the next two hours.”   Which is good, because currently, I am terrible at it.  (It’s those waddling mushrooms, is what it is.  Fuckers get me every time.  Also, I tend to fall off things.)  But despite the fact that it took me almost a week to get through the first two levels, I’m loving this game.

And it goes just beyond the fun of throwing fireballs at turtles and my love of the spinner-hat suit.  You see, my family never owned any kind of video game console when I was growing up.  I’m not sure if we weren’t allowed to have them or if my brother and I just never showed any interest so it never came up, but either way video games in any form were non-existent when I was a kid.  The first one I ever owned and played on a semi-regular basis was–get this–Guitar Hero, in college.  I’ve generally been very disdainful of a regular diet of video games, and generally considered them a waste of time and money.  Once in a while, sure, fine, but surely they shouldn’t hold any kind of important role in a person’s life.

Kyle, on the other hand, began playing Mario at the age of four.  For as long as he can remember, playing video games was something that he and his older brother, and later friends, shared.  Kyle had beat Mario3 by the time Kyle was 7.  If you flip through his family pictures, there’s one of their tv from the day that they beat Zelda.  He grew up with Mario the way I grew up with Sesame Street, and the game means a lot to him.

For Kyle, my inability to run and jump my way through the levels is both hilarious and mind-boggling.  To him, maneuvering his little red plumber is damn-near second nature, like tying his shoes, and he’s getting a huge kick out of coaching me through the levels.  And despite my previous dislike of  video games, I’m enjoying not only the game, but the experience.  In a way, it’s letting me experience what for many in my generation defined their childhood.  And more importantly, it’s letting me experience an important part of Kyle’s childhood, and enter into that special bond that he and those he played with have shared.

Up until now, I’ve generally considered video games to be a waste of time, something to be saved for the occasional Saturday nights with friends and beer.  But I consider the last week that I’ve spent on the couch to be an investment in my marriage, because it’s allowing me to share something with my husband that has held so much importance in his life.

Besides, as Kyle pointed out, Mario was here first.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • gem February 21, 2010, 12:48 pm


    I’ve had video games in my life since forever because my brother and cousin were hooked, but I just never got hooked in the sit down and play for weeks kind of way. Which is what you need to be really, really good. And since I wasn’t really, really good, I hardly ever wanted to play. I’m too competitive to lose all the time. (Although I’ve never thrown a controller, lol.)

  • Charm City Kim February 24, 2010, 11:33 am

    Mario practically raised me! 🙂

    I’ve been dying to get my hands on Super Mario Bros and Mario Kart for the wii and have yet to do so. A part of me fears that I’ll never leave my house again.

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