I have a confession to make.

This is hard for me to admit.

I am bad at Super Mario Brothers.

As someone who spent a lot of time playing NES 20 years ago this is a very difficult thing to come to terms with.

I didn’t accept it at first. “I never owned an SNES, so I need a few minutes to get used to Super Mario World.” “I haven’t played Super Mario 3 in 20 years, I’ll remember everything in a couple turns.” “The dog made me run into that koopa.” “It’s because I’m playing Luigi. Mario’s better, I want to play Mario.”

Super Mario World

After I had died a number of times without my skills improving much, I got mad. “Holding down a button to run in a platformer, what terrible, stone-age design” or “Is this it? Get a leaf and fly over every level before you find the secret that lets you skip half the game? That’s dumb,” and “How am I supposed to use this blocky controller, it’s terrible.” Also: “Stop watching me play and laughing at me when I die! This is your fault!”

Super Mario 3 death

Then came the questions and self-reflection. Is this it? Am I bad at video games now? Was I ever good at them? Am I a gamer? Has this entire part of my life been a self-aggrandizing delusion? Can I really continue to write about video games with any kind of authority when I’m so fucking terrible?

Super Mario Brother game over screen

I know the last phase of this is supposed to be acceptance, but no. I won’t accept it. I’m going to keep playing, keep practicing, until I’m awesome again. Or at least not completely shitty. I will kick shells into my enemies. I will jump on the heads of koopalings. I will not get killed by anymore Boomerang doucheBros, or  fall to my death. I will master that awful blocky controller.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

3 responses to “Shame

  1. I am not the world’s best gamer. I would say I am about average.

    However, I used to be AWESOME at Super Mario Bros games.

    I got the NES games and the SNES game for my Wii last year and started playing them again, I was soooooooooooooo bad at them. It was embarrassing.

    The only thing I can say is keep on playing. I eventually got back into the swing of those games and started kicking butt again. Super Mario World actually ended up being the easier game to re-master.

    By all accounts you are an awesome gamer, I am sure you will get back into the swing of things.

    • I will keep playing. I’ve been slowly making my way through SM3, with the goal of beating the whole game myself without too many continues.

  2. Hah! At least you don’t have the shame of having never played a Mario game…on any system…

    …I’ll see myself out.
    Dahakha recently posted..Speaking Out Against Hate and Ignorance