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The Enduring Power of Mario

It seems like Mario and Luigi have been around since time immemorial. What began as an eight-bit video game with the goal of rescuing a princess from a dragon in the ’80s and ’90s, has become a veritable empire of games. From the 3-D Nintendo 64 edition of the original, which expanded Mario’s worlds and took the U.S. by storm circa 1996, to the nostalgic yet evergreen Mario Kart, to the newest addition Princess Peach Showtime, Mario has reached a broader audience than perhaps any other game franchise.

Discuss the popularity of the Mario-verse and why its creators have been so successful in marketing not only the original games, but also games in completely different genres (racing, fashion and dress-up, and so on). You might choose to discuss characters and how their universes and personalities have expanded over time. Finally, you could speculate on where the Mario-verse might go next, and what worlds and ideas Gen Z and Alpha might find most appealing.