“Focus and simplicity: that has been my mantra. Simple can be more difficult than complex. You have to work hard to clarify your ideas; to make what you think, simple. But in the end, it’s worth it because once you do it, you can move mountains. ”
34 years ago a mustache who used to be a carpenter, who used to be called Jumpman and who had episodes as a villain, took a total turn; He changed his name, became a plumber and ended up being the hero who rescued a Princess, and incidentally, also an entire industry.
This is the story of how Super Mario Bros. saved video games.
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The year was 1984 and they were very complicated times for the video game industry. The fever that unleashed Atari years before between the companies it was completely out of control. Hundreds of consoles were thrown left and right, these consoles were accompanied by hundreds of cartridges with bad, boring, senseless and made in a hurry games.
People noticed and were discouraged.
Nobody bought or played video games at home anymore, they were facing a saturated market. The industry was dying. The bitter dad’s prophecy was coming true: “See? Video games are just a passing fad ”.
Nobody expected anything more than the death of this hobby, but it was here that a Japanese company launched a game called Super Mario Bros.
Nothing was the same again. But why?
Run and jump.
They are the only 2 things you must do in Super Mario Bros., but at the same time you don’t need more to be able to achieve your tasks in the game and survive. Shooting pellets was not required to finish.
With only 2 verbs, Super Mario Bros. became the most influential game in history, a benchmark in popular culture, in saving an industry; 34 years after its arrival, it is more current than ever.
The fundamental instinct to run and jump is what saved video games.
We are living a stage in history where priorities have changed. Nowadays developers try to blur the lines between video games and movies; combine both experiences at best, but to Shigeru Miyamoto, Mario’s father he was not interested in that.
What’s more, he couldn’t be interested.
The tremendous limitations of the time forced him to pack the most iconic character, the most endearing soundtrack and the most universal story in just 8 bits.
It is not to compare, but The witcher 3 it weighs 49 GBs and surely there are games heavier than that, however … Which one do you remember the most?
In the end, the mission of any work of art is to make you feel extreme emotions. What you felt right now that you played the Super Mario Bros. soundtrack and heard the first notes, You felt it because that game marked you, it made you feel the love for this culture, because it lives in your gamer heart.
Unlike a movie; A video game is not to be consumed passively, it is not to sit and watch. A video game is to MAKE and Miyamoto understood it perfectly with everything and its limitations.
One key to the game is that it is universal. When you give a human being a NES control to play Super Mario Bros., they will perfectly understand how it is played and will understand what they should do and what they should not do.
That’s no accident, that’s because Shigeru Miyamoto is a god of level construction and design.
The legendary Level 1-1 It teaches you absolutely everything you need to know about how to play, how to use the controls, who the “bad guys” are and how to be more powerful. Anyone can learn to play Super Mario Bros. in less than 1 minute. What other game can we say the same?
Focus and simplicity.
Steve Jobs already said it. Achieving both may be the most complex thing, but Super Mario Bros. did it.
Of course, having combined both concepts, this game began to grow rapidly, consumers began to be interested in this industry again and NES, same as him FAMICOM, it began to be sold in piles.
Yes, the library of these consoles is immense, but it was this title by Shigeru Miyamoto that made everyone turn to look at home devices again, it was this title that revived a practically dead industry.
Without this game There would not be this community where every day we get together to talk and where we meet the best friends of our lives, heck, there are those who know their husbands through video games.
Yes, today we have wonderful games on next-generation consoles. But from the very Super mario world of SNES, passing by Metal Gear Solid, Silent Hill, Halo, coming to Fortnite and even games that have not been released today; none of that would exist without Super Mario Bros.
Focus and simplicity.
Gameplay, controls, story, characters, musical composition … All those elements are focused and simple. This is how Super Mario Bros. managed to move the mountain of industry, and by moving it, it saved it.
Thanks Mario. Happy Birthday.
Pablo Corzo for PUSH THE BUTTON @PT_Button