So The Daughter turned eleven yesterday. Which meant that I got to embarrass her all day by pointing out things like, “Hey, eleven years ago today, I had to change your first diaper! I saw the first poo you ever made!” Happiness is, truly, torturing your own kids.
There were presents, obviously; the main one was that we took her to Best Buy and let her pick out the Wii game of her choice. After a few false-starts, she settled on Mario Kart, which turns out to be an utter blast. I haven’t played it all that much myself yet, but just wait. Oh yes.
What’s funny about the Mario games is their obvious Japanese sensibility. What I mean by this is the way they blend humor with addictively cartoonish sadism. I mean, in Mario Kart, you can take on the persona of a cute little princess, stick her in a rocket-powered go-kart, and drive her off cliffs repeatedly to her doom, all the while laughing at her cartoonish squeals of “AIEEE!!!” And since one can choose which vehicle to put her in, one can even do this in a rocket-powered baby stroller.
All this makes me think that the Mario games are the videogame equivalent of being on a Japanese game show.