No Nintendo for Mario
Don’t worry, oh beloved fans of the most famous plumber in the history of mankind (without counting that actor that plays a plumber and always leaves without really “fixing zhe sink”), because this isn’t about Mario making his way to the PS2/3 or Xbox/360. No, it’s not what it looks like. Nothing, my friends, is what it seems. This and even more vagueness in this weeks column.
I don’t like keeping secrets, having aliases on forums or “aka’s” on sites. Who thinks my name is stolen from that Italian plumber with his huge moustache is wrong. My parents hadn’t heard of Super Mario on 28th July 1982. You can’t blame them though, because there wasn’t any sign of a Mario game yet. Something you can blame them is their passion for opera and classical music. Does the name Mario Lanza ring a bell? If so, there’s a big possibility that your parents are also into sopranos, tenors and an occasional castrato, or you are deeply intrigued by those dramatic singers yourself. In both cases: the best of luck to you all. The point is that I don’t have any resemblances with that plumber whatsoever. The only thing I know about the kitchen sink is that I shouldn’t be behind, under or on top of it. Leave it to the misses, right?
The choice of my parents on that historical day of 28th July 1982 (those who dare forget my birthday next year are really up for a treat) has many deeply rooted consequences. Mario will have to go to school one day and what’s the first thing you see at school? Exactly, annoying smart asses with a love for the Nintendo Entertainment System and Mario Bros. The fact that my parents forced the hairdresser to cut my hair into a “bros” hairdo (which is kind of like a mullet but then spiky) is just too silly for words. Until the day I became aware of my fashion sense I walked around looking like Ulrich, Dieter und Heinz (no, not the ketchup just a German name). Everyday was a psychological horror: “Hey, Mario, where’s Luigi?” or “Mario Bros, where is your little princess?” and to top it of: “Yo Luigi!”. If my name was really Luigi, would the last one have called me Mario? I wouldn’t call someone Snake when his real name is Raiden, right? Not that he would mind but one thing’s for sure: those smart asses paved the road for Nintendofobia. This and the fact that my parents, despite the above mentioned tortures, wouldn’t buy me a NES. The other kids all got a game console during the winter holidays, or if they already had one, a whole bunch of games.
I learned to keep your friends close but your enemies even closer so I paid those annoying bullies a visit now and then to see what Mario and Luigi had to offer. Admitting was not an option, but to be honest, they did charm me and suddenly the whole shouting at school turned into compliments. Sadly my money savings weren’t sufficient to buy a NES or SNES. When my parents finally saw the “our son likes to play video games” light, they decided to buy a Philips CD-I player. For once in our humble life we were, as the marketers like to call it: ”innovators”. The employment of my dad at Philips had something to do with it because when it comes to other technological wanna-have’s we were “laggards” of the purest and slowest kind. Don’t get me wrong tough that CD-I sure could satisfy my hunger, but not for long. Therefore I used my weekly savings to rent a Playstation in the local video store. In stead of playing save and trusting on the experience of Nintendo I gambled and put all my trust in the new kid on the block Sony. I don’t regret that choice, but it enlarged my Nintendofobia without a doubt.
When I finally reached the legal age to work and my parents started to call me lazy, I took a job at the farmer around the corner. The money I made wasn’t enough for a console, but it was a step in the right direction. The day finally arrived; I had enough Belgian franks to buy a game console. The Sony Playstation was mine. Nintendo still didn’t get any chance and years passed when the next generation presented itself. In the meantime my finances expanded a bit making me able to buy the Playstation 2 on its launch day. Way too expensive, but hey, we innovators get a kick out of it, right? You should know that aside from my Nintendofobia, a little Microsoft virus planted itself in my brain making it take a couple of months before I noticed that even the Xbox had its potential. Because my money tree was more tree than money, the Gamecube was left alone in the shelves. But lets make a promise mister Miyamoto, there will be a day that I can live up to the expectations and Nintendo and Mario become one.
With kind regards,
Mario “I’ll fix your sink any time honey” Moris