For the longest of times, the Super Mario franchise has been notorious for offering players a plot that involves Princess Peach being kidnapped. Now Super Mario Run is all over iOS!
Super Mario is a series known for being the ‘reference’ when it comes to 2D platforming games. The franchise is the most popular and identifiable one in gaming history. In a Time article, Mario was declared the most successful video game franchise of all time.
“Arguably the most popular and easily identifiable character in video game history, Mario first appeared in the original Donkey Kong arcade game in 1981. Mario games are by far the best-selling video games. The Nintendo mascot has appeared in more than 200 games in a franchise that has sold more than half a billion copies, with Super Mario alone selling just shy of 300 million copies since 1985, according to Tech Time.”
The series has been recently subject to controversial claims involving Nintendo’s latest mobile release, Super Mario Run.
In short, the controversy claims that in the game’s World Tour mode, Princess Peach invites Mario, the obvious protagonist, to a castle party. She later goes on to offer to bake him a cake. Of course, Princess Peach gets kidnapped by Bowser. To save the Princess from the hands of the villain, players must go through 24 levels. Completing the quests will unlock Princess Peach as a playable character in the game.
This all seems perfectly normal and typical for a Mario plot. However, with feminists movements on the rise all over social medias and other networks, Super Mario Run was promptly declared as a sexist game. Why? Well, based off online forums and posts, the fact that Princess Peach offers Mario to bake a cake is sexist. She must go to the kitchen to complete this task. The claim accuses the developer for exploiting an idea based off a popular stereotype that woman belong in the kitchen.
Also, the game was declared sexist for enforcing the idea that woman are helpless and need rescuing, hence why Mario has to go out and save her every time. Instead of looking back at the original plots the Mario games offered and compare the similarities, the game was accused.
I write here today to say this:
As a writer and media, I am fed up of hearing about all sorts of companies and social groups attack video games with claims that can’t be defended on an intellectual level. In this case, Super Mario Run was declared sexist for offering a similar plot to that of what it offered ever since the franchise was established. On the other hand, you have Pokemon being attacked by PETA for not respecting animal rights and promoting animal abuse.
Instead of using that sort of negative marketing to tackle video games, why not take a minute and do some actual research. Super Mario Run doesn’t promote sexism… it just give the player a reason for Mario to save her beloved one – also, it isn’t a bad thing to offer your loved one a cake!
I might be an individual, but I would like to use my voice to say this… Claims like those need to STOP.