Do we really love Super Mario so much?

  • Post category:Psychology
  • Reading time:8 mins read

People only in certain age range will connect with this

It is almost a global phenomenon that things that we liked, did or enjoyed as a kid always attract us, throughout our life. I say almost simply as a disclaimer so that no one comes and say, oh but there is a small family in Iceland who does not feel that way. I believe you all would align with the cartoons that you watched as a kid e.g. “Tom & Jerry“, the technical tools that you used e.g. “paper and pencil” or the gadgets that existed in your time e.g.” turn dial phone or a tape recorder“. Only those people who havs used those as kids would have their eyes lit up if you show them photos today. But ask a generation before or later, you will get a reaction but it would be just some weird surprise or so-what kind of reaction. This early childhood experience even has an effect on our decision making. E.g. a study shows that the people we spent most of our times as kids till the age of 6, we will never choose them as our mating partner later in life.

It was no surprise that when I saw a video titled “The Super mario effect”, I could not resist myself from watching it immediately. Frankly, it could have been any other text after “-” in the title instead of tricking the brain or learning, I would have watched the video. The Super Mario was enough to sell the video. Of course I was all excited and positive when I clicked the play button. The video and message felt really positive and valid. Atleast it was the case till half-time. Slowly as other jargon started to hit the ears, the “super mario” effect started to fade and I started to think little less biased. As I finished the video, I already had counter arguments about the theory.

This is also a lesson you learn when you teacher is game

I would suggest that reader should watch the video, if not already done so as to relate with upcoming text. I get the general idea that more you try, which means the more you give your time and effort on a given task, the better you get at it. However, to make everything a game or fun or hide-the-reality style so that one learns, does not go along with me. Yes, in some cases it is a good idea, but as a general way of teaching and life, I cannot agree with it. For me it goes back to the topic of the easier we make our life, lazier we get. I would like to take a couple of scenarios to make my point.

Imagine a scenario where teachers, parents and for that matter everyone around kids adopts this theory at the same time. What kind of world and mind-set would these kids will grew-up with. What would they expect from the world around them when they will leave comfort of their houses or their teachers who took pain-staking efforts to make things attractive to them and gave them enough chances to succeed in a task without any penalty. Maybe you already have an idea about what I am hinting towards. In a simple scenario, imagine this kid goes to take his driving license with this new mindset that he would be given enough chances. Will his parents be ok to pay the driving classes and test fee again and again? Will they be ready to pay for the higher services of driving classes, because they have to charge more because of their sophisticated methodologies? Or the parents would ask the driving agency to charge fee only one time, after all charging again after first attempt would be same as negative points. Imagine these kids on their professional jobs, one goes to fly a plane and value it just as much as a plane in a game that can crash, reset and start all over again. The other who happened to go into finance management and invest customers money with the same mindset as playing a game. Would the investor give him/her a smile and give another lot of money to be invested. You can imagine many such scenarios from driving on streets to police to army to politician or a diver or a fireman.

Not sure if he said that, but it certainly means either ways there are consequences

Another way of looking at it could be as to who is working and who is benefitting and in which way. In this case the whole burden of learning and making it work has been put on the teachers or parents or the boss who need to get the work done. Why not teach the kid that life needs their effort and it comes with consequences. In super mario one can fall down the pit, press reset and start the game with last score. But in real life, you do not have that option. If you fall down, it hurts, may break a leg, may not jump again or stay in wheels for life. Real life comes with consequences. I know in one scenario, where similar approach was used in schools that kids should not be penalized for failing the exams till basic level. They should not be evaluated, but educated. There is no need to make them revisit the classes again. I know it is not the same, but I think it is even more extended version of it. Initially nothing much changed. But after a year when the school started again, kids realized what happened. They stopped paying any interest in classes, started making noise, shout etc. or won’t even come to classes. Teachers were left helpless as school law is so, they cannot say anything to kids and parents of course expects that teachers will take care of everything. In general the tendency is not to do anything, when you know that result will be same anyways.

One even more basic scenario is about food and kids. We had a saying, which would roughly translate into, “Even a mother does not feed the infant till it cries!”. This apparently in the modern parenting world is considered almost a crime. What kind of a horror that mother is who let her kids cry! As I have heard that today parents are given time tables as to when to feed and how much to feed the baby. Apparently, this is normal rather than eating when you are hungry. In my opinion that old saying was not about mother being a symbol of torture and horror. It was a very simple way of ensuring that things are done when they are needed. It also ensure that infant learns what a hunger is, to build the capability to realize when it is hungry and learn that it needs to make an effort to get the food. I am not sure but I believe that crying also gave enough physical activity to a small body. Today, one can find many kids and teenagers who do not care about food. They do not care if they eat or not. It almost feels like a burden and forced upon activity to them when they are made to eat. They are usually the same who hardly shows any respect to food. They do not care, if they take a bite and throw the rest or just threw it away because they did not like the color of it. I think one simple reason is that they had a very comforting life as infants and failed to learn the very early lessons about life.

I was struggling with my counter thoughts of this video and the feeling that maybe I am going against “super mario”. As the fate had it, I came across another video, which is also around games, but I believe it supports my point about teaching reality of life to kids rather than making more abstract games that make them believe that life has no consequences.

We will see how the rivers change their directions and which way the sea currents will move. I hope that the people will still smile for real with their whole being behind it and not the ones that gets triggered based on jokes in a comedy series.

Keep Smiling


Arundeep Singh

Lessons for real life  😂
Mulla Nasrudin used to say: “Every man should have at least one wife, because there are somethings that just can’t be blamed on the government.”
The town’s richest man had died. The next morning, another rich, and particularly miserly, old man said to Mulla Nasrudin, “I wonder how much he left.” Mulla Nasrudin laughed and said, “EVERY CENT OF IT, SIR.”