Wut. I mean? Huh? How can… No. Just… No. Am I just getting old? Is this what happens when people get old? Has the discrepancy of generations in the world truly been this breathtaking? The last time two seemingly connected cultures were this disparate was when the greatest generation gave birth to the flower power hippies during the baby boom.
What has gone so wrong, so fast?
This was Nintendo President Satoru Iwata speaking to shareholders last week:
It may come as a shock to some of you that most gamers today cannot finish the original Super Mario Brothers game on the Famicom. We have conducted this test over the past few years to see how difficult we should make our games and have found that the number of people unable to finish the first level is steadily increasing.
As a stockholder, you should be relieved to know that our games are easier in order to attract a wider audience,” “As a gamer, you might feel a little sad, and you should be. It is quite sad.
Why? Why, why, why? I was born in 1982, and Super Mario Bros came out in 1985. I purchased my NES system in 1987 (I remember VERY clearly), so that means I was about 6-7 years old when I first beat Mario. Mario wasn’t even that hard. Mega Man; that’s hard, but still very beatable by my ex-roommate, OB. Hell, he can even Beat Mike Tyson’s Punch Out on command to this day. Honestly, if you give him a pack of cigarettes and a Zima, and he can do just about anything.
Other interesting and depressing facts came from the shareholder meeting. I will bulletpoint them because it seems less depressing to me.
- 90% of participants in these game tests couldn’t beat the first level of Super Mario Bros.
- People couldn’t figure out the run button.
- They didn’t understand that coins were to be collected, and weren’t enemies.
- 70% of participants died at the first Goomba. I repeat: THEY DIED AT THE FIRST GOOMBA!
- What is worse than dying at the first Goomba? Dying twice at the first Goomba, which 35% of people indeed accomplished. A mentally challenged sea turtle wearing an eye patch couldn’t die at the first Goomba twice.
- Participants wanted the game to be easier, and said Mario should have a sword or gun!
- Some people don’t even know Mario is an actual real, vintage game!
- I’m losing my mind making these bulletpoints!!
I want to curl up into a ball and cry. This is why participation trophies have ruined the sensibilities of a generation. This is just the worst. This… This is our future? I know that the children of the 80’s don’t have certain skills our parents or grandparents had, but we could beat the first level in Super Mario Bros, and if we couldn’t, damn it, we kept trying until we jumped and put that flagpole in front of the mini-castle between our legs and slid down.