Super Mario Bros. needs no introduction, except when it does. It’s one of the most instantly recognizable games of all time, but on its 30th anniversary, it’s begun to exist to a younger generation as more of a cultural icon and reference point than a tangible and known work of art in and of itself. Games culture has such little respect for history that whilst it will mine the past for its concepts and brands, it won’t allow people to look away from the road lined with fetishistic notions of technological progress, lest they realize the shining lights ahead are merely distractions.
Morning Mario is my attempt to rectify this. The concept is simple: I’m going to play Mario every single morning. I’ll play one set of lives, and each day I’ll get a little better, and make it a little further. I have no end date in sight, merely a finish line in the distance, and no way to tell what form the journey will take.
I’ve been doing it for a week, and already it’s been an incredibly interesting and a far more personal experience than I could have expected, but I shouldn’t be surprised. The series is raw, full of tired mumbling and incomplete arguments, it’s the documentation of a relationship in progress: as I begin to understand Mario, Mario begins to have an effect on me. The rules I’ve enforced upon myself ensure each day ends with failure, the life counter’s hard limit granted permanence by the inability to continue upon my own schedule. This experiment is more than just me learning to beat Mario, it’s a surrendering of control, an act of vulnerability.
That’ll all make sense once you’ve watched the videos.
The series ends when I’ve completed the game. When I’m done, I’m going to write up a summary of the experience, the themes that end up presenting themselves, and what I’ve learned from the whole ordeal. If I don’t complete the game, I’ll merely play Mario forever, the spritely plumber my constant companion til the void’s embrace.
Join me upon this journey.
Welcome to the Morning Mario.