There are generally two approaches to thinking about games: narratology and ludology. The first emphasizes story, the second play. The next time I played Super Mario, on the Wii (you can order all the vintage games), I found myself in a narratological mode. Mario reminded me of K. and his pursuit of the barmaid Frieda, in Kafka’s “The Castle,” and of the kind of lost-loved-one dreams that “The Castle” both mimics and instigates.
The New Yorker profiles the father of modern video games, Shigeru Miyamoto.
Kent Jenkins rocked a homemade PVC instrument
at a recent LMU
talent show. The end.
Take a game like Super Mario Bros. Introduce garbage data into the code, either through random Game Genie codes or a corruptor program. Try to play what results, while the laws of reality slowly go insane in the background
, and upload the "best" results to YouTube. Can Mario make it to the princess when stomping a Goomba turns the air to water
, when hitting a block ends the world
, when the world is infinite length
, if the ground can't support his weight
, when touching a flagpole destroys his mind
, when brought into being over an ocean immediately before a fatal heart attack
, before the enemies turn into Bowser-halves
, while the universe is freaking out around him
? (hint: no)
Super Mario Crossover
Play Super Mario Bros. as Bill S, Samus, Link, Simon, Mega Man or, of course, as Mario. [more inside]
(Flash game), a nice twist on a classic game: "It's when the plumber encounters the coins, though, that everything changes. For every coin you collect you also get a cloned plumber who copies every move of the original. Just trying to jump ten hapless clones at once onto a small platform and you can see how things have changed." (review
) (via waxy.org)
's suite of Java emulators allows smooth, in-browser playback of literally thousands
of old-school video games: 517 Atari titles
, 148 for DOS
, 636 Game Boy games
(and 410 for Game Boy Color
), 2,019 (!) NES titles
, 238 GameGear games
, 802 Sega Genesis titles
, and 284 for the Sega Master System
. Highlights include Space Invaders
, Super Mario Bros.
, The Legend of Zelda
, Zero Wing
, Duke Nukem
, Sonic the Hedgehog
, Earthworm Jim
, and Metal Gear Solid
. Use the search function
to find your favorites! You can also register an account to save games on emulators that support it. Make sure to check the purple bar below each game for control info and links to alternate emulators in case the default one is buggy or slow.
are a band from Brazil who play only music from classic videogames. They are really
, really good
. (via waxy: "the best live Mario cover I've ever seen")
Hey Paisanos! It's the Super Mario Brother's Super Show
! Hosted by Captain Lou Albano ( previously
) as Mario and Danny Wells as Lugi, the show boasted an unusual list of guest stars
, Magic Johnson
, Erine Hudson
, Moon Zappa
, Regina Williams
(with Capt. Lou in drag) , and in a meta-twist, Cyndi Lauper
trying to find Captain Lou himself. [more inside]
Thank you Miles
, but your apotheosis is in another castle
. [more inside]
A couple of professors, in collaboration with two upcoming IEEE conferences, have organized a Mario A.I. Competition (via)
, inviting programmers to create controllers for a modified version of Infinite Mario Brothers (previously)
. One contender has stepped up and posted a demo of his controller in action
. [more inside]
The 2009 Super Mario Marathon
will kick off this Friday as three gamers from Lafayette, Indiana jump their way through 25 years of Mario games to benefit the Child's Play Charity
. The marathon will be broadcast live online and you can track their level progress
at the site. Viewers of the event will have the opportunity to win some Mario-themed prizes. If old-school RPGs are more your thing, the Final Fantasy Marathon,
also live online, also with prizes, will be kicking off July 17 to benefit ACT Today
"It's a secret to everybody"
-- an unbelievably comprehensive blog post about the etymologies of the names of famous (and not-so-famous) video game characters.
I didn't think this
would be cool but after seeing the video I am converted. Experience the original Super Mario in 3d... with a shotgun?
Mario Paint Composer
emulates and extends the composer function from Mario Paint for the SNES. It has been used extensively to cover classic game music
, popular hits
, some of the greatest songs on earth
, and even the occasional classical
outside of his usual context is often weird and disturbing
Remember Super Mario Frustration
? Kaizo Mario World is another of those super-hard Mario level hacks, this one of Super Mario World. Someone played through its first level 134 times, with save states, recording all his deaths, then digitally composited them into one trip through the level. The result was Many-Worlds Mario
. (For those interested, here's a video
of a tool-assisted perfect run of much of the game. Here's the rest. Here's some more.
With the release of Super Mario Galaxy
on Wii, now is a perfect time to look back at the History of the Super Mario Brothers.
“In most games, you trust that the designer is guiding you, through the usual signposts and landmarks, in the direction that you ought to go. In the Real Super Mario Bros. 2, you have no such faith. Here, [game designer] Miyamoto is not God but the devil.” Slate assesses
the true sequel to Super Mario Bros.
Console Portraits: A 40-Year Pictorial History of Gaming.
Inventor Ralph Baer
designed the first videogame console
for the home. In May 1967 he played the first-ever two-player game. "I lost!" Baer notes. At times offensive
, console videogames have survived hard times
to remain at the forefront of videogame history
, and at times a reflection of ourselves
It was linked
a couple years ago, but since then the site has undergone a major overhaul and added a bunch of cool stuff. [Flash Warning]
In addition to the now classic voxel 2.5D conversion of Metroid
(playable and interesting), there is now a robust Metroid world-editor
, a Marble Madness-like prototype
using the voxel engine, a StarFox level editor
and model viewer
(Spoiler: gfx not as good as you remember), and numerous others worth checking out: Hyrule Planetoids
(comme Le Petit Prince) and a OpenGL Zelda room viewer
, a Mario 64 Explorer
, and numerous Super Mario Bros demos
. It's all quite useless/amazing.
Friday Youtube Fun:
How to beat Mario 64 in under 22 minutes (and only 16 stars). [previously]
Mario and Zelda Big Band Live.
I know we've done this sort of thing any number of times before
, but this two-hour clip of orchestra music from Japan may be the best of the genre. It starts with a one-guitar blugrass version of the main Mario theme and goes from there.
Year of the Monkey.
In the wake of yesterday's Nintendo Wii release information
, take a look back at the birth of the company's flagship characters, Mario
and Donkey Kong
, who turned 25 last month. Play the classic online
or check out the Donkey Kong Board Game
while listening to "Kong in Concert."
What is people's fascination with playing the Mario theme on the piano
, even. Super Mario World
, too. And Mario 64
, and... some other rubbish
Texans reject Bush
Not since the Portland Trailblazers selected Sam Bowie
over Michael Jordan has such a draft day blunder occurred. In today's 2006 NFL Draft
, the Houston Texans are set to make NC State defensive end Mario Williams
- not USC running back Reggie Bush
- the top overall pick. Yes, we're talking about this
Reggie Bush (YouTube).
Texans fans, prepare for 10 more seasons like the one you just had.
Teenage art students in Portage County, Ohio tried to create a public art project by placing life-size "question boxes" from Super Mario Bros. around town.
The result? The bomb squad was called in, and for a few days authorities contemplated pressing charges
against the teens. (via wigu)
- SMB3 hacked into an entirely new high-quality game
Super Mario Brothers sound effects.
Boing! Boing! CRUNCH! Ding! Ding! Ding! Whoop! Boing!