The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 Forum
Super Mario Run’s Not-So-Super Gender Politics
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments

Last week, after a wait of almost a decade, the world’s most popular video game series, Super Mario Bros., finally came to the world’s most popular video game machine: the iPhone. Nintendo’s Super Mario Run went immediately to the top of the App Store charts, above mainstays like Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube. According to one estimate, the game was downloaded 37 million times in its first three days.

Unfortunately, despite Nintendo’s history and reputation, Super Mario Run is not a family-friendly game — or at least not one my wife and I will be letting our 6-year-old daughter play. The game is rife with stale, retrograde gender stereotypes — elements that were perhaps expected in 1985, when the first Super Mario Bros. was released in the United States, but that today are just embarrassing.

Super Mario Run begins, as does almost every Super Mario title, with Princess Peach becoming a hostage who must be rescued by Mario. Just before her ritual kidnapping, Peach invites Mario to her castle and pledges to bake him a cake. Upon her rescue, she kisses Mario. The game also includes a second female character, Toadette, whose job is to wave a flag before and after a race, like a character from “Grease.”

By failing to update Super Mario for a contemporary audience, Nintendo is lagging far behind the Walt Disney Co., one of its closest American analogues. Disney’s film “Frozen” subverted and reinvigorated the fairy-tale princess movie; “The Force Awakens” gave us a female Jedi. Super Mario Run doesn’t even try.

In isolation, there’s nothing wrong with princesses or baking. My daughters love those things, too. But Super Mario Run relegates its female characters to positions of near helplessness. Peach and Toadette become playable only after you complete certain tasks, which makes the women in the game feel like prizes. (To be fair, the same is true of a few male characters.) Worse, should you then use Peach to defeat her kidnapper, Bowser, you’ll discover that neither Mario nor a kiss is waiting for her as a reward.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Feminism, Video Games 
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>
    []
  1. The lunacy knows no bounds!

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
    AgreeDisagreeLOLTroll
    These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used once per hour.
    Sharing Comment via Twitter
    http://www.unz.com/forum/super-mario-runs-not-so-super-gender-politics/#comment-1704319
    More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  2. They’re comparing the story of a mobile runner to 2 hour movies. Nintendo keeps the story the same because nobody plays a mainline Mario game for the story. Of course the left hates “classics” because anything that’s gone unchanged for decades provides a cultural marker to highlight how much they’ve been able to push on us, and certain things like the Charlie Brown Christmas Special provide cultural messages which would be verboten if made today. Hollywood remake culture is not merely an opportunity for cheap cash grabs, but an opportunity to “update” loved movies to their PC zeitgeist.

    Read More
  3. The only Eskimo I met was a pretty young woman who used the word “Eskimo.” Because she was thin and not wearing a fur-trim parka, I thought she was NE Asian.

    Read More
  4. “should you then use Peach to defeat her kidnapper, Bowser, you’ll discover that neither Mario nor a kiss is waiting for her as a reward.”
    It’s sad, but such is life. If women can care for themselves, they will have to care for themselves. But Peach could rent an escort (wouldn’t that be a reasonable “modernization” of the game?).

    Read More
  5. Just went and bought it. Fun game, Nintendo knows how to make platformers. Which you’d expect.

    Can anyone think of other diversity-lacking pop culture purchases? I went and saw Dr. Strange, which got in trouble for making Tilda Swinton the Ancient One, rather than Rogue One, which was famously diverse.

    Read More
  6. Really important things, even about this subject [gender issues] are demonized or avoided, for example,

    demonized = accuse misogyny of others as islamophoby, racism…

    avoided/ostracized = instead debate real-talk, talk about frivolous things.

    $((who))$

    Read More
  7. The author of this article needs to be smacked! There are so many video games with female protagonists / warriors. Look up Metroid, Valis, Great Giana Sisters (a female rip-off of Super Mario), Sailor Moon, Perfect Dark, and so on and so forth. Metroid features a female Rambo, Valis features a female samurai, and Perfect Dark features a female James Bond. The Feminist ideology has truly permeated the world of video gaming.

    Read More
  8. Another example of how this rag is delving further down the “OMG”/”You Shouldn’t”/”Here’s Why” kind of pieces.

    Read More
Current Commenter says:

Leave a Reply - Comments on articles more than two weeks old will be judged much more strictly on quality and tone


 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments become the property of The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS
PastClassics
The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.
While other top brass played press agents for the administration’s war, William Odom told the truth about Iraq—though few listened.
A thousand years of meritocracy shaped the Middle Kingdom.