Today marks the 30th anniversary of the release of Super Mario Bros, a game that revitalized the almost-defunct videogame industry of the early 1980s. In honor of that event, this week will be Mario Week, where we gather to pay homage to the instantly recognizable protagonist and veritable spokesman for video gaming, Mario.
Over the 30 years since Super Mario Bros was first introduced on the SNES, his image has become synonymous with videogame culture. Whether you are a fan of Mario games or not, or of games in general or not, you will recognize Mario as an iconic figure of the subculture.
Over the course of Mario's illustrious career, he has appeared in over 200 games, at least 116 of which are distinct from each other. (Not counting remakes or re-releases.) His games have sold hundreds of millions of copies. According to Nintendo, that number is just north of 290 million. 290. Thing is, though, that number is just for titles in the main Super Mario series of games. The number jumps up to 500+ million for all the spinoffs and other games like Mario Party, Mario Tennis, Mario Kart, etc.
That's a half a billion copies sold of all things Mario in gaming. No other character has become so ubiquitious to the genre than Mario has. For that reason and so many more, this week we will honor Mario with our homages to his games and the joys and failings that have come with them.