On Super Mario, or My Son and I Share a Geek-Out Session

I’m home with my kids watching Nintendo’s E3 presentation video and the live Super Mario Maker play on Twitch. My six year old son has a great love for Shiguru Miyamoto because my husband and I told him that Miyamoto-san was Mario’s dad.

Blew. His. Mind.

We’re sitting in the office watching the presentation video and, as an archivist, I am enamored with the old game design sheets they’re showing. The first Mario game was hand-drawn on special graph paper. The whole game. Each and every level.

Oh. My. God.

As a child, I would blast through my mom’s stash of graph paper and destroy the nibs of her Pantone markers (she was an artist) as I tried to design my dream Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario World levels while laying on the living room floor. I also destroyed the floor because Pantone ink seeps through graph paper and onto wood floors very, very easily….

Needless to say, I had a little geek out moment today. From an archival standpoint (the designs are in such good condition!!!) and an “OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD!!!!!!!! I USED TO MAKE MY DREAM LEVELS USING GRAPH PAPER, TOO!!!!! SQUEEEEEEEEE” inner geek-child perspective. There are only a few things I’d totally fangirl out over; Nintendo’s archive is one of them. I would totally lose the battle against the nervous giggles if I had the opportunity to see, up close and personal, the actual concept art for Super Mario.

So, we’re watching the presentation. I’m geeking out over the original drawings for Super Mario Bros. levels. My son’s geeking out because Mario’s dad plays Mario, too (the kid’s six and I’m willing to let him hang onto things like this). My daughter grabs a My Little Pony and leaves the room because she can’t be bothered with Mario and his world.



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