Thursday, June 14, 2012

Growing up Mario aka My digital best friend, Mario

I'm sure as most people born in the 80's you grew up on the NES and it's games, particularly Mario games. My first game I ever played was Super Mario Bros on the NES and it got me thinking, why not take a retrospective look at my life growing up with Mario as a kid and adult.

As a kid in the 90's going to school was scary! I was picked on as early as my first day in kindergarten, being picked on, beaten up and only one friend who is still my best friend to this day. My home life sucked because of my scumbag father who was a selfish, violent and adulterous man but at Christmas of 1990 my life changed for the better. Yes Christmas 1990 brought a Nintendo Entertainment System bundle with Duck Hunt/Super Mario Bros. into my home thanks to my mother.

I spent the entire Christmas/summer holidays playing that game, from dusk til dawn. Even finished it both with and without warping. Super Mario Bros gave me two things that summer holidays period... a game to talk about with the kids when I got back to school and a happy place to go to when things got bad. Upon returning to school everyone was talking Sega Megadrive and Super Nintendo... once again I was picked on, this time they added owning a NES and being poor. Kids are so damn cruel! I hate kids because of those years! Yes I was poor, but my dad wasn't.

In 1993 my house would eventually be blessed with a SNES and Super Mario All-Stars. After 3 years playing NES games and most of them were garbage (though I didn't know it then), the SNES gave me the Super Mario Bros games my dad never bought me because he said video games were a was of time and money... yet his car, drum kit and mistresses weren't! Super Mario All-Stars gave me more emotional stability and comfort throughout most of the 90's with the occasional rental of both Super Mario World and Yoshi's Island until eventually getting my own copy of Super Mario World. Mario became my digital best friend during the hard times of my life then, including the fallout and divorce of my parents.

In the late 90's we got a Nintendo 64(mainly because with my dad gone we had a little extra money to save.) in the house and one of the first games I got for it was Super Mario 64. The 90's and early 00's were the most miserable years of my life... but at least Mario was there, especially during the suicidal teen years. Yes, Mario kept me from killing myself. What was worse was the robbery that happened the year we moved houses. Almost all our N64 and PS1 games were stolen except what was in the consoles... even my beloved Super Mario 64 was gone! Dark times for sure, even when I got a new copy of Super Mario 64 it didn't feel the same to me. I know that sounds strange but that's how I felt. I eventually loved it more because my mum searched high and low for it and this was before eBay!

When the Gamecube came out in 2002, I was at the age to receive money and I bought my first game at 16 with my own money. Super Mario Sunshine was my first Mario game I ever bought myself with my own money. Still emotionally scared and turned paranoid of both leaving the house unattended and being a teen, the return of a bright, colourful Mario game(with a water soluble Yoshi LOL!) broke my funk and my teen years became less grim. Even during the dark times, Mario was always there to make my life worth living again.

Becoming an adult became miserable too. Doctors gave me a whole list of medical problems that turned my life upside down. Diabetes, Sleep Apnea, Asperges, Obesity, insomnia and lingering depression... and the list goes on. Once again the world seemed blocked off to me. All my problem prevented me from getting a job and life felt like it wasn't worth living again. Once again, my digital best friend Mario came back and this time on the DS with New Super Mario Bros. and life once again didn't feel like a waste of time.

About five years ago I became an uncle, which came with new responsibilities I wasn't ready for and one that scared me most was teaching him important things. Fear took over and I didn't know what to do! In 2008 my friend Mario came back with the perfect tool to help... New Super Mario Bros. Wii! Yes the new Mario game came out and gave me just what I needed. Through this game I could teach him what Mario helped me with.

Now that I've bored you, let me tell you what Mario taught me and what I'm teaching my nephew and soon will teach my other nephew and niece when they're older.
-Even when everyone is against you, you can always fight through them
-Every problem has a solution
-Even if you fail, you can try again and again because you can always continue
-When the world gets gloomy, there is always a colourful world to escape to
-A true friend is always there when you need them, even if he's a mustachioed plumber from Brooklyn!

Yes if it wasn't obvious, Mario was also my inspiration to start my blog and become an amateur video game reviewer. I still have a dream of becoming a professional video game journalist and play video games for a living, sure it wasn't my first choice but it's the best choice. Mario got me through the worst times in my life and I hope he or someone else will help everyone in their lives too.

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