…Then Mario inspired a whole generation of kids to become plumbers. They saw plumbers in action. They played as plumbers. They lived, ate and leapt over sentient cacti as plumbers. They were told that if you become a plumber, you get to rescue the Princess and save the day, unless you’re the younger brother in which case you do all the work whilst your tubby older brother, who’s got to be like, one more of mamma’s bologneses away from a major heart attack, screws the princess and tells you that you’re adopted. Man, Mario was a dick.
I played Super Mario with quasi-religious fervour as a child, yet everyday I’m able to see drains and not jump down them in the mistaken belief that there’ll be an underground world full of blocks that turn into huge golden coins when I jump up extra high and head butt them. This is because I’m not a moron with nothing but a breeze block and an apology note from God where my brain should be.
But whilst I loved to play as Mario, the Sylvio Berlusconi of video games, I also played a great deal of a Snes title called Booger Man (‘A pick n’ flick adventure, serious business) as a child. Booger Man chronicled the adventure of, you guessed it, Booger Man, a superhero who set out to save the world by flicking snot and hocking loogies at bad guys. By collecting milk power ups, you could amass a really serious amount of phlegm to spit into the eyes of your enemies.
And since playing that game I’m pleased to confirm that I’ve never, not once, hocked up a great big wad of phlegm at someone on the assumption that it’d somehow render them incapacitated and unable to absolutely kick the shit out of me, which is what I’d do to someone who’d just spat on my cheek whilst wearing green tights and a cape.
And it’s also what that guy, over there, would do. That’s Sub-Zero. That’s (quite literally) the coolest mother fucker this side of a Snes. When they were handing out the powers at a Mortal Kombat cast (Kast?) meeting, and decided that he was not only going to be a ninja, but a ninja who could spontaneously freeze anything he liked and then smash it apart like glass, you could say they were loading the dice in his favour. Except you wouldn’t say it to his face because if you did, as you can imagine, he’d freeze you and then smash you apart like glass. Did I mention that he can freeze people? And the glass thing?
Despite my love of Sub-Zero (like GLASS you bitches!) I’ve literally never, and you might find this hard to believe, tried to freeze someone and then smash them into little tiny pieces. Not even when I met Donald Trump did I attempt to do this. When Mortal Kombat III rolled around and I discovered that Sub-Zero could turn into a bear and eat people from the inside out, I didn’t attempt that either. As a thinking person with a mind of my own, I’m perfectly capable of witnessing things without deciding that they give me free reign to then go out and actually do them, which must come as a big surprise to various anti-video games lobbyists on the right, lobbyists who I’ll have to be extra careful about mentioning by name because for them words like ‘Law suit’ are serious business.
Here’s a quick run down of various other things I’m capable of doing.
- Playing Fifa 13 without mistakenly assuming I’m Manchester United’s new manager.
- Playing Gears of War without shouting ‘Cole train! Wooo!’ every thirty seconds.
- Playing Empire Earth without declaring myself the literal Emperor of Earth.
- Watching any movie with Bruce Willis in it without killing hundreds of terrorists with my bare hands because I’m Bruce Willis.
- Watching Batman without deciding that I’m Batman.
- Watching the Walking Dead without deciding that there can only be one black guy alive at a time.
- Playing Grand Theft Auto without going on murderous chainsaw-wielding killing sprees and having eight-second long sex with disinterested hookers before beating them to death with a baseball bat and taking my money back.
- Playing through Dragon Age: Origins without assuming that I’m a real life honest-my-goodness Grey Warden.
- And most importantly, playing through Dragon Age 2 without hunting down everybody responsible for that travesty, freezing them and then breaking them like glass, because I secretly do actually think that I can do that.
What I’d love to do most is sit down with, I don’t know, absolutely not Brad Bushman of the NY Daily News who wouldn’t know how to cite a source if I wrote Citation for Dummies and stuck it to his face, or totally not Bill O’Reilly who accidentally leaks shit from his mouth every time he tries to speak and absolutely, definitely not Jack Thompson, the anti-video games activist who’s so hated that MK fanboys spent hours of their lives creating a character who looked just like him so that they could kill it in various hilarious ways. Whilst I can’t publically support that video, I can say check out the hilarious catapult at forty three seconds.
And once we were sat down and we’d sunk a few beers, I’d suggest that they play a little of some of these games they claim are so bad for society and see for themselves what the results are. And then I’d turn into a polar bear and eat the bastards.