While browsing the Internet yesterday I came across an article on Recode titled “It’s 2016, so why is Super Mario still rescuing a cake-baking princess?”
The terrible article from a deluded Social Justice Warrior claimed that Princess Peach telling Mario she’ll bake a cake was “sexist.” And then followed it up with some nonsense about what women have done in the past 30 years:
It has been 30 years since Mario first rescued the princess back in 1985. Since that time, more than 50 women have gone into space, more than two dozen have been elected to the U.S. Senate and several hundred have climbed Mount Everest.
Sure Ina, that’s all true, but yet several hundred million have baked a cake in that time. Unsurprisingly, there are plenty of women who actually enjoy baking and don’t view it as some so-called gender norm. Men too. There’s nothing sexist about baking a cake.
But whatever, you know? A moron writes an article on the Internet claiming something is sexist, racist, or offensive every minute these days. It’s Recode, and thus who cares? That was my thought yesterday after reading that nonsense.
Then today happened and produced this gem from the New York Times: “Super Mario Run’s Not-So-Super Gender Politics”
Let’s get one thing straight right up front Chris Sullentrop (author of the NYT op-ed linked above), there are no politics in Super Mario Run and most definitely not “gender politics.” I know it’s hard for SJW liberals to understand, but not every piece of entertainment is trying to push some political agenda. Not everyone is going to conform to your stupid beliefs and cater to your safe space.
There’s so much about this garbage of an article that needs to be addressed, and really the best way to do is point by point, so here we go. Bold italicized is from the NYT piece, my thoughts underneath it.
Super Mario Run is not a family-friendly game…
For a normal, sane family, it absolutely is. Like every Mario game before it, it’s as family friendly as it can get.
…or at least not one my wife and I will be letting our 6-year-old daughter play.
Congratulations. You’re a moron so wrapped up in and deluded by your own political BS that you’re going to shove it down your 6-year-old daughter’s throat and deny her some innocent fun.
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.
No sir, let’s be honest about this. It’s embarrassing to a very small minority of snowflakes. The majority of the population world wide, even those with no access to the game and far more important things to worry about, are perfectly fine with a video game princess who bakes cakes and needs to be rescued occasionally.
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.”
The horror. I honestly don’t know if this guy is more upset that Peach gets kidnapped, or that she bakes Mario a cake and then later kisses him
This is the type of person who would be enthusiastically supporting the game and letting his young daughter play it if Toadette was the main character and she was rescuing Mario as a transgendered princess who was a “lesbian.” It would be so inclusive then. Well almost, we’d have to make Mario’s (Maria?) skin black and give Toadette a hijab to really ensure no one gets offended. Even then, I’m sure someone would.
Of course it’d no longer be a Super Mario game, and thus wouldn’t sell a fraction of the amount the actual Super Mario Run has, but at least it’d be “family friendly” with “super gender politics.”
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.
I’d say Nintendo is far more wholesome than Disney, but what is this even trying to say? Because Disney does these things, Nintendo shouldn’t make a core Super Mario game? It’s called “Super Mario” not “Super Peach.” Frozen is a fine movie, but does that mean there is no longer a place for Sleeping Beauty?
In isolation, there’s nothing wrong with princesses or baking. My daughters love those things, too.
I am honestly shocked. Not that they love those things, but rather that you allow them to enjoy those things. “No girls you cannot bake those cookies, that’s a gender stereotype and we’re better than that.”
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.)
Prizes? To be fair, you’re lucky they are unlockable as playable characters at all. Again it’s called “Super Mario Run,” not “Super Mario and Friends Run.” It’s a Mario game. Not every game needs a playable female character. When it makes sense sure. If a developer has a story they want to tell with a female lead, do it. If it’s an RPG where you create your own character and are supposed to get immersed in the game, allow female characters to be made. But this a MARIO game, you aren’t suppose to be immersed in it.
Your daughter’s don’t need to play Super Mario Run as a badass Peach. Play it for what it is, a Mario game where the character is an Italian plumber and not a representation of the player. How hard is that?
Shigeru Miyamoto, the designer of Super Mario Bros. — as well as Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda and other landmark games — is frequently called the Walt Disney of video games. He may have a little too much Uncle Walt in him and not enough Hayao Miyazaki, whose Studio Ghibli movies like “My Neighbor Totoro” and “Spirited Away” are filled with adventurous young heroines.
There’s a place for “adventurous young heroines,” but it’s not in Super Mario. What kind of logic is this? Because these things exist that are filled with adventurous young heroines, all things must?
Mr. Miyamoto told Wired this month that he was more involved with the design of Super Mario Run than that of any Mario game since 2007’s Super Mario Galaxy. That means that the only two Super Mario games that include a playable female character from the start — 1988’s Super Mario Bros. 2 and 2013’s spectacular Super Mario 3D World — were games in which Mr. Miyamoto was not directly involved with the level design.
Yes, Mr. Miyamoto is a huge sexist that wants Mario to be the star of Mario games. Next you’re going to say he’s a racist because there’s no blacks in Super Mario. Please.
Still, lots of girls and women play video games. There are more women over 30 who play video games than boys under 18 who play, according to the industry’s lobbying arm, the Entertainment Software Association. A Pew Research Center survey published last year found that almost 60 percent of girls between the ages of 13 and 17 are gamers.
So what? I call BS on whatever poll says more women over 30 play video games than boys under 18, but that’s neither here nor there. Of course girls play games, why wouldn’t they? That doesn’t mean they can only play as female characters or that female characters within a game can’t be seen as helpless or in need of saving.
Seeing people like yourself depicted as heroic on TV and in movies and video games can have a powerful effect on viewers and players. The actor and comedian Kumail Nanjiani, who was born in Pakistan, tweeted after watching “Rogue One,” the new “Star Wars” movie, that he “started tearing up” after a scene in which “people who looked like me and dressed like my people were good guys.”
Oh for god’s sake. This is a MARIO game. Unless you’re a short, fat Italian with a mustache, no one is seeing someone like themselves depicted as heroic in Super Mario. This is a land with mushroom people and where a princess gets kidnapped by a turtle. Realistic it is not. You’d have a point with this nonsensical article if it were a game where you could create yourself, but didn’t allow for females to be created or didn’t have a specific skin tone to be selected. But that’s clearly not the case. It’s a simple Mario game.
Representation in interactive media may be even more important than it is in linear entertainment. In video games, players describe ourselves as the digital avatars we control on a screen. We say “I died,” not “he died.”
Who cares? “We” say “I died” because we’re the ones playing the game, not because we identify as or are projecting ourselves onto the character. When I play Tomb Raider, I don’t say “she died,” I get mad that I died because it was my fault. It would be stupid to say “she died” when she’s just a fictional character that I, as the player, am controlling. We’re not describing ourselves as digital avatars we control, we’re saying “I” because we’re the actual person controlling the fictional thing. The sex, race, or even species of the thing we’re controlling shouldn’t matter one bit.
But it also presents more conventional game designers with an opportunity to create games in which young girls, and not just young boys, actually become heroes themselves.
And there’s a place for that, but it’s not a cheap mobile Super Mario game. This is a really weird game to be trying to make this case over. This guy legitimately comes off like a lunatic. Because there’s an opportunity for it doesn’t mean it needs to be every game. Current year in wacko SJW world where everything needs to be a safe space still doesn’t mean that a Mario game has to be anything more than a Mario game.
You have to be a real special snowflake to get this offended over a baking princess needing to be rescued in 2016. Why don’t you ask your daughter if it’s something she’d like to play, rather than just not allowing her to do so because she can’t easily play as some fictional character that resembles her in a fictional land?
“Players describe the experience of being with one as less like talking with a person and more like inhabiting someone else’s mind,” the social scientist Sherry Turkle wrote of video games in 1984 in “The Second Self,” one year before Super Mario Bros. came to America. “In pinball you act on the ball. In Pac Man you are the mouth.”
“Social scientist” ladies and gentlemen. When you play Pac Man, you are the mouth. What? Inhabiting someone else’s mind? I’ve apparently been playing video games all wrong. I should’ve been identifying as a blue talking hedgehog all those years ago, silly me for being able to separate the two and not actually think I was Sonic.
The knowledge that video games possess this power, that they allow us to adopt new identities and grant us new ways of seeing ourselves, is as old as Mario’s quest for his princess. Which makes it all the sadder that Mr. Miyamoto, with all his gifts, has yet to seize it.
Thank God this garbage has reached its conclusion. Here’s the thing, video games don’t possess this power. There may be some guys or girls (and whatever the latest made up genders are) that some people allow themselves to “adopt a new identity” or “see themselves in a new way,” but I’d argue the majority don’t. A video game is a way to kill some time, blow off some steam. Tomb Raider doesn’t make me Laura Croft, it doesn’t make me identify as or see myself as a woman. But it doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the gameplay or the story. Playing Elder Scrolls Online as a Khajit doesn’t make me identify as a cat man (or a cat woman for those easily triggered).
Would you social justice warriors please stop trying to ruin everything? The world doesn’t revolve around you and your minority snowflake beliefs and feelings. Stop getting offended by even the simplest of inoffensive things.
You’re not Mario and you’re not Peach, just play the game (or don’t but shut about it) for what it is and stop trying to project yourself into it. The Mushroom Kingdom has enough problems, like dealing with goombas and a giant fire breathing turtle, it doesn’t need SJW’s projecting themselves into the world and trying to set up safe spaces.
Seriously, get a grip and come back to reality. It’s a game, and it doesn’t have politics in it, so please stop trying to make it where developers think they have to get political with their games. You can play as Peach in the game, so just be happy with that and stop telling Nintendo that the Mario games need to “evolve.” Super Mario is just fine as it is, as a Mario game.