When I was a little girl, back in the 80s, my best friend at the time got a Nintendo Entertainment System. Whenever we hung out, all I wanted to do was play Super Mario Bros. It was leaps and bounds cooler than the atari 2600 my parents got us for Christmas the year before. Everything looked, sounded, and played better. Super Mario Bros. was the first side-scroller, and arguably one of the best, that I had ever played.
By the end of the year, my older sister and I managed to save up enough money for our own NES. I spent much of my time playing Paper Boy, Battle Toads, Yoshi, and Bubble Bobble to name a few. If you were to read my diary from that time in my life, instead of seeing entries about boys I liked or whatever stereotypical topic young ladies write about, mine was filled with high scores and achievements. I was particularly proud of the first time I made it through Paper Boy in one turn. I can still do it. 🙂
Fast forward a year or two, and behold… Super Mario Bros. 2 came out! My life was forever changed. In this game, I could play as Mario, Luigi, Toad or PRINCESS! My brain had, at this stage, never processed that the games I played were male characters often saving women, but when I saw that I could be a girl, let alone a PRINCESS, that was all I wanted to do. Not only was she a female character, her stats were impressive. She had the second longest jump! Luigi had a longer hang time, but his spaghetti legs made me feel uneasy. I also ignored that she was the slowest at picking up items. Sometimes it made defeating the bosses a challenge, but the rest of the game was so much fun playing as her.
When Super Mario 3 went back to their familiar formula of saving Princess Toadstool, I was disappointed. I still loved that game for the map, the bonus levels, the warps, the giant level, the really cool versions of Mario, and the music, but I severely missed playing as my favorite, and the fact that I had to rescue her was a let down.
Fast forward 30 years, and my desire to play as kick ass heroines is still there. I am always thankful when a game company chooses to tell the story through a woman’s eyes. I’m even more thankful when I get to work on such a game.
OMG, am I done blabbing yet? Close! I think I can just wrap this up by saying my life influences my patterns!
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