04 February 2010

More Mario!?

He's an addict. He's addicted to Mario. No, I'm not referring to myself, though Valerie may disagree. But I know how Ari feels. I mean, there's not a whole lot to do to keep yourself entertained when it's 20 degrees outside. Super Mario Bros. is fun, and it can keep a person entertained for hours, even playing the same level over and over again, as I've recently had to experience (World 1-3, anybody?).

But, as parents, we have to draw a line somewhere. We can't let the boy spend his whole day playing Nintendo, even if I'm playing with him. I can't believe I just said that. There are times, though, when it's all he talks about and all he wants to do. So, standing firm, and not buckling under the constant whining, I got a little creative.

We brought Mario into the real world, and used our imaginations to create our own levels. Using the Mario Bros. figurines we already had on hand, we pretended that the game came to life. I made a Bowser flag to symbolize the end of the level (it even slides down the pole) and we used some chocolate gold coins to represent the three star coins that are scattered throughout each level. I would hide the three coins around the house and Ari would have to find them before he could reach the flag, dispatching of goombas and koopa troopas along the way.

The game was an instant success, and Ari and I spent hours playing. He even created the elusive level ten that he still thinks might magically appear in the real game. There was even an extra element that we weren't expecting; keeping the mysterious beagle monster from finding and devouring the chocolate coins before we do. We've since had to abandon the chocolate coin in lieu of some plastic ones; it seems we were no match for the mysterious beagle monster, and the mommy monster wouldn't let us use them anymore.

In the end, everyone gets what they wanted. Ari gets his Mario fix, and Valerie and I don't feel like horrible parents as we watch our little boy play his life away on the Nintendo. Ari still gets to play the real thing every once in a while, but it sure is nice to have another option. It doesn't hurt that it's a lot of fun, too.


  1. I asked my students what is the 'the best video game of all time?' Bet you can't guess what their answer was...?

  2. I'm hoping it was Mario, otherwise, this was a cruel trick.



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