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Saturday, 7 June 2014

Mario teaches typing

What? Are you fleeing for your lives?
It's curious how a little pretension can have lasting impacts on our lives.

I was "fortunate" enough to play Mario teaches typing many years ago. I can't pinpoint exactly when it was, but it was there, buried deep in a memory slot that I once thought would never be unearthed again. until the day came when I saw it again. Does this game cause me goosebumps. I can't understand why obscure mario games have such an unexpected effect on some of us. Maybe the explanation is in the main character himself: if you come to think of it, Mario, however famous he is, remains a vessel of secrets long after having cemented his celebrity cred. To this day, we know little of him and the more Mario games are released, the less he reveals even a part of himself. But unlike typical fiction-dwelling aloof males whom draw huge admiration on a daily basis, Mario's silence is not exactly alluring. It's relegated to such a low key level that all else in the game, even petty game play details, is more likely to pique the player's interest. maybe this is all done on purpose and there is a tantalisingly gruesome secret behind Mario's constantly having to lean on stoicism. We cannot know for certain.

Super Mario 64 isn't the first game where we get to see a capless Mario. 

Mario teaches typing does little to enhance Mario's laconic reputation. Still little is revealed about the iconic hero aside from the fact that at some point in his life he took up typing. Actually he even stepped up a notch and went on to teach typing. Reasoning that perosnal computer sales would see a steep rise, there should be a way to squeeze some moolah out of Nintendo fans willing to embrace the upcoming technology trend. Wow! As if your love for Nintendo hadn't been professed hard enough, now it's coupled with your passion for technology and one of the core tenets of computer sciences: your computer keyboard and the ability to exert utter control over what might as well be the most complete input device to interact with a machine that excels at manipulating ones and zeros.  Now that's right up your alley!
Luigi chased by a brindlebass is as violent as it gets.

Mario Teaches Typing includes three characters the player may play as: Mario, Luigi and Toadstool. The latter two were added only for gloss as there are no distinct game play features to distinguish one form the other. As the game starts, a pair of gloved hands is displayed to show which finger to use according to the required key. As the player clatters away at the keyboard, Mario strolls his way through typical albeit over-simplified floppy capacity versions of Super Mario Bros stages in an attempt to vanquish...Bowser? No. At the end of this rewarding experience the player is gifted with a chalkboard screen, in keeping up with the classroom-esque pattern, admonishing the player for his performance and how he should strive to be better next time. As if there ever was a next time. Statistics gild the otherwise unimaginative canvas, and the game re-starts.