Mar10 - Feature Image

MAR10 Day: What Mario Means To Me

It’s almost March 10, or as Nintendo Fans like to think of it, MAR10 day. While I might not consider Mario my favorite video game franchise or video game character, the plumber is very near and dear to my heart, as he is to many people around the world.

Mario is the de facto mascot of Nintendo and, to a large extent, the face of video games in general. Sure, other major video game characters have come out before and after the plumber’s debut, but you would be hard-pressed to find a video game character more immediately recognizable than Mario; He’s a gaming icon.

Mar10 - Super Mario Bros 3
Image Credit – Nintendo

Mario has consistently been a huge influence on the platformer genre, essentially always being the one to beat or strive to surpass. While there may be other platformers I like better, I tend to consistently enjoy myself with Mario games and find myself able to relax with them. Some of the games may be better than others, but generally speaking, I have fun when I sit down and play a Mario game. However, Mario means more to me than just platforming fun.

He’s a gaming icon.

As I didn’t receive my first home console until I was in my teens, most of my video game experiences for a good chunk of my life were over at friends and family. In the case of the NES, that was typically with my cousins. Whenever we came to visit, my cousins would pull out the Nintendo, and there would be six or more of us gathered around the TV, passing the controller around and taking turns playing Mario.

I was definitely the baby of the bunch. My oldest cousin was a good decade older than me, and everyone else was pretty much two to five years older as well. While that isn’t as huge a gap when you’ve reached adulthood, it may as well have been a century at the time. All of them were going to “big kid” school, and it felt like they were in an entirely different world from me, one that I couldn’t quite reach. To me, my cousins and my siblings were the coolest people in the universe, and I so desperately wanted to be a part of that.

Mario was a way to bridge that gap. It was a way to bring us together. Sure, I may not have been able to understand what life was like for the big kids at the time, but we could all understand Mario going to save a princess. We could understand the joy of finding a warp whistle or the Tanooki Suit in Super Mario Bros. 3. We could watch the Super Mario Bros. Super Show together and enjoy it. It was something that could connect us.

Mar10 - Super Mario Bros 2
Image Credit – Nintendo

Could Mario Bring World Peace?

This connection to my family and nostalgic experience is why MAR10 and Mario are so important to me. Like any media or art form, video games are something that can connect us and bring us together. People of vastly different ages and walks of life can understand, play, and enjoy video games. Mario, being one of the best-known franchises out there, can bring people from all walks of life together.

While I don’t think Mario will ever bring about world peace—it would be magical if he did—, I love the franchise’s ability to unite the world. Whether it’s Mario Kart, the sports games, Smash Bros, or the regular series, there is something magical and timeless about the little red plumber. He can make us all feel a little better; a little braver. Mario’s example encourages us all to enjoy life and to be the most heroic that we can be. His courage in the face of adversity is something we can all admire.

Mar10 - Mario Kart
Image Credit – Nintendo

I hope you all enjoy this MAR10

A couple of months back, while I was employed as a chef at a school, I had to enter one of the classrooms to ask a teacher a question. In the process, my attention was drawn to a child who had a delightful assortment of plush toys. Intrigued, I approached and instantly recognized a few familiar characters. She had Kamek, Bowser Jr, Iggy, and Larry Koopa, and while the teacher glanced at me as if I was insane, the child was surprised that I knew the characters. Since that memorable day, the child eagerly dropped by the kitchen to share updates about the latest Mario plushies and merchandise, and each time, I shared in their excitement.

So I hope you all enjoy this MAR10, regardless of what flavor of Mario game you happen to enjoy. Whether old or new, I hope you get just as much out of the series as I have. In the meantime, I’m eagerly awaiting the next Mario plushie to add to my collection.

Image Credit – Nintendo