Playing Mario With My Wife, Who Hates Mario... Part 2

My Dad only wears Adidas Sambas. He's had the same haircut, the same stone-washed Levi jeans for as long as I can remember. I've watched him grow old in these clothes and wondered — when do you choose the outfit you wear for the rest of your life?

My wife waddles into the living room, she's 37 weeks pregnant. At any point during the month she could go into labour and I'll become a Father for the first time. A terrifying thought. Like standing on the edge of a cliff waiting for someone to push you. Is this the moment where tastes become frozen in time? Is this the moment where I choose my clothes, haircut, lace up my Adidas Samba and wait patiently for death?

My wife waddles into the living room because she wants to play New Super Mario Bros. U again. Despite the fact she actively hates Mario — the character, not necessarily the game — despite the fact she thinks Mario is too old and greasy to be dressing up as a Racoon. Despite the fact she thinks Mario should dump Princess Peach because she's stupid and keeps letting herself get kidnapped. Despite all this she still wants to keep playing.

————— My Dad still listens to Van Morrison and Bob Dylan on a daily basis. Is Super Mario Bros. the game I'll be playing for the rest of my life?

My wife goes to church on a Saturday and often brings a team of our friends home for lunch. Typically a group of about four or five come along. This time one of our friends' little brother is part of the group, along with one of his friends. They're both roughly 16 or 17 years old.

We turn on the Wii U. Alongside my wife and I, the two younger kids start playing New Super Mario Bros. U together.

I'm young. I'm down. I totally don't hate dubstep and I understand emoticons. I use hashtags on Twitter (but I don't overuse them) and I can totally hold a conversation with these young uns and teach life lessons like Hangin' With Mr Cooper. Right?



When will I start being dismissive of the younger generation? When will I start referring to them as a 'generation'? When will I feel that gap? When will I stop understanding the things they like, the things they do?

The strangest thing about playing Mario with these younger kids in particular is they don't have any understanding of Mario at all. My wife's objection to Mario was based on her own (limited) pre-existing knowledge of a gaming icon, these youngsters know nothing. Playing Mario with them legitimately makes me feels old.

"Oh man, oh man! Cash money! Cash Money!"

This is what they said as they collected the coins.


That's what they said when they picked up the star coins.

I laugh. I try to make a YOLO joke about Mario having five lives or something. I can't remember the specifics, mostly because it was a really, really bad joke. You might even call it a Dad joke.

————— My wife and I play Mario together. And we have these conversations. When will we start wearing the same clothes, listening to the same music, playing the same video games until we become old and weary.

When I was younger Mario was constantly pushing boundaries, visual boundaries, design boundaries. Now I wear Mario like a comfortable pair of slippers, like a well worn pair of Adidas Samba.

When I was younger Mario was frickity fresh.

When I was younger.

You can read 'Playing Mario With My Wife, Who Hates Mario... Part 1' here.


    Im only 29, no kids and i started doing these things about 9 years ago, complaing the internet has gone to crap, kids these days have no respect, what the hell is with skinny jeans, why are men wearing more makeup than women.
    and in the last 4 years its gotten worse, dubstep, YOLO, hipsters.... back in my day we had real music, and we didnt hate things for being mainstream..

    I'm going to love being an old codger :D

    Last edited 10/12/12 1:11 pm

      If anyone tells you you aren't already you tell them they are Ageist.

      Keep fighting the good fight!

      You used the term 'back in my day'.

      You're there.

      Um, what's yolo? why is it in caps?

        You Only Live Once. Crazy catchphrase the kids are using!

          Carpe Diem was a much better way of expressing that sentiment.

          At the very least, if gave you an excuse to stand on desks and occasionally yawp.

            you also had the added benefit of feeling smug cos you just spoke a latin phrase. LATIN!!!

            "quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur"

            Carpe Diem had more of a "don't wait around, actively follow your dreams!" message.
            YOLO is used more as an excuse to do stupid shit. "Screw it, shots every night. YOLO!"
            I heard a teenage girl yell it as she ran across a busy road in high heels. That's not day-seizing.

      I'm in almost exactly the same boat. I'd only add appreciating fine wine, food, cigars, single malt scotch and bespoke suits.

        Mate im exactly the same, swap wine with a good port and we could be twins... i'd be the sexy one tho.

    My Dad still listens to Van Morrison and Bob Dylan on a daily basis

    Your dad sounds like a pretty cool person.

    I dont think them being young is the reason they know nothing about Mario, Its not like Nintendo has ever thought "Gee this franchise could do with a rest". There is a new game all the time, they are just part of the group of people who dont like it. When I was growing up Mario vs Sonic was in full force and I was never interested in it.

    Most people aren't interested in playing as a greasy plumber chasing a young girl while murdering wildlife.

    Mario himself would have been around even before you were born unless you are already wearing the Adidas Samba.

    The only thing I know about Mario for sure is that he is a communist.


      Last edited 19/06/15 9:52 am

        Haha! He would say you are full of crap and write you off as insane.

        You would need an umbrella to shield yourself from the bits of flying brain, as his head would have exploded with excitement.

      A communist that wants all the money, all the lives, and all the powerups and kills anyone that tries to take them from him...

        So Mario is Stalin? Well, if the moustache fits....


      I believe the New Super Mario Bros. 2 for the 3DS clearly shows him to be a Capitalist, just look at all them coins!! Lol ;)

    Oh man, oh man! Cash money! Cash Money!”

    This is what they said as they collected the coins.


    That’s what they said when they picked up the star coins.

    Oh god what bleak future gaming has in the next generation.

      It made me try to think of what I said when I played games when I was younger.

      Then I remembered I played games in silence because I had no friends to talk to :(

      Last edited 10/12/12 1:19 pm

        I was abit more fortunate I have two Brothers and a Sister, we were all around a year apart besides my younger brother so we played together and we brought eachothers friends over and played with them.

        Now that i'm 25? yeah.. I pretty much play in silence.

        Unfortunate to hear your story hopefully gaming helped fill the void.

          I imagine its much easier these days considering at school being a gamer is much more accepted than it was 10 years ago.

            WTF? When was it unacceptable? Kids have played games for thirty odd years. Sega vs Nintendo . Spectrum vs Commodore. Atari vs coleco.

              Yeah but back then (well maybe a bit further back to the 90's when I was in school) gaming had that stigma of being an overweight person with no friends playing games in the basement. Now everyone has a mobile phone capable of playing "main stream" games like Angry Birds and its socially more acceptable...I'm guessing that is his point.

      I don;t understand how any of this relates to "not understanding mario" are we suposed to be reveling in the nostalga as we play or somthing?

      they are just things they said...I'd probably say similar things if I were younger

    As a 19 year old cynical asshole, please don't let the "YOLO YMCMB SWAG" crowd represent my generation. Please.

      I second that... 18 years old and I wouldn't be caught dead saying swag or YOLO.

        I third that... also 18, and this made me realise even more how old I am on the inside (128).

        and how can you have no knowledge of Mario?

    Cash money? Swag? Yolo?

    I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems weird and scary to me, and it'll happen to you, too.

    I'm only 25 and this applies far too well to me.

    Damned kids.

    no one gets to use "back in my day" untill they hit their 30's at least

    you do it if your in your early 20's you need to pull your head out of your ass (and stop complaing and have fun)

    I don't think I'd feel too much like a decrepit old geezer wearing those shoes. They're not exactly the hideous red leather loafers my dad insists on wearing with long white socks.

      On a different note, is blue Toad carrying Bob from Bubble Bobble?

    I'm 32, married and have a little girl.

    And I say kids these days wouldn't know a good game if it hit them in the face! Back in my day...

    Last edited 10/12/12 1:59 pm

    awesome article made me belly laugh and van Morrison and bob Dylan are pretty cool man, I'm 25 and i feel lost in a sea of dubstep, YOLO and OLOC!!! Bring on the future haha

    Serrels, you were born wearing a pair of sambas.

      and if you're half as cool as your dad you'll be the coolest motherfucker in Aus

    Mark Serrels wins journalism and the internet for using the term "frickity fresh" in a legitimate manner.

    Last edited 10/12/12 2:31 pm

      How childish.

        Well now you've gone and ruined my Monday.

        Last edited 10/12/12 3:50 pm

          must be a young whippersnapper, back in my day we respected our elders & enjoyed a snappy game of snakes and ladders....BTW wot the fuck is swag?????

    “Oh man, oh man! Cash money! Cash Money!”

    This is what they said as they collected the coins.


    That’s what they said when they picked up the star coins.

    Mark, invest in a whacking stick or belt now. They'll be in the thousands in about five or six years.

    I'm 29 and I spend a lot of time at work with younger people - mainly around 20; some just over, some a little under. The other day I used the word "Yo" with no trace of irony whatsoever, and felt even older. If I ever use the word "swag" in a a sentence without it being prefaced by "Once a jolly..." I will jump in front of an avalanche.

    I have no idea how I'd find it, but there was once a Gamespot article (from the very early 00s I think) showing some kids not unlike the ones from this article some old old games. It was funny hearing their reactions and seeing the readership get all self-conscious, but the kids from that article are probably in the same situation now.

    I think aerials on a tv arelready foreign to this generation of kids.
    Big smile on my face reading this Mark!

    From reading this, I now firmly believe that Mario games shouldn't be for children, but the adults who experienced the games as children.
    Hearing "SWAG" being associated with Mario is a scary vision, and I don't want Mario to become a series that becomes re-identified as the game for swagfags and yolofags and the uneasy, almost bi-polar attitudes of children of this generation.

    I think children are just too exposed to digital entertainment these days. Instead of invisioning the Mushroom Kingdom as a strange, colourful world with Mushrooms and Giant Pipes and Turtles, and as a place that is rare and special, they just see it as just another alternative-to-earth world that the widespread of television, film and video games has been cramming down their throats with cheap cash-grab-child-targeted-shovelware-and-movies for it not to mean anything special to them anymore. I remember driving through Rainbow Road for the very first time and I was amazed at this marvel. You know what today's children would say? "cool."

    This fictional, magical world does not shape them anymore, they're a victim of the moneygrabbing greed of society to the point where the only thing that actually means anything to them anymore are stupid internet trends. "SWAG", "YOLO", Justin F**king Bieber, etc.

    Because Adults are less vulnerable to corporate deception, I think they are the only ones who can truly appreciate the masterpiece each and every Mario game is, rather than simply another form of entertainment for children to pass time with.

    But to enjoy it, you still have to have a child-like approach to the games where a middle aged plumber wears animal costumes and saves a girl who keeps getting kidnapped by a giant turtle, other wise your vision corrupts and becomes perverted to the point where you believe that Mario is some sort of pedophile, like we can see in this article.

    To conclude my rant, Mario can only really be experienced and enjoyed by adults who still posess an innocent, child-like vision of the series, but not today's children, yesterday's children.

    Because Mario has to be appreciated.


      Games are for fun yo! Mario is fun. Full stop. Even without the nostalgia hit, it's a damn fun game.

        I totally agree.

        Mario is fun, and It always will be.

        I'm just saying, whether fun or not, it's going to stop being as influential on future generations because, let's face it, every generation gets more and more spoiled by the inflation of childrens entertainment in our society.

        Mario has meant a lot to me since I was 4, I grew up playing through the series as it has evolved, and Mario was the only common denominator in every stage of my development. But now and in the future, children are going to have so much more than just Mario while growing up.

        I just can't see anyone in the future being as inspired as I was by Mario, that's all. And it's a shame.

          I don't know if it's a shame. It's just the way it is. Progress and all that.

          You know... you can make sure that your kids are as influenced by mario as you were. Pretty easy to limit them to one franchise. Cue evil laughter.

          "Sorry kids, the Wii only plays mario games"

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