Courtesy of its nature as a level creation tool, Super Mario Maker will be a title that can intrigue and keep us interesting for months and maybe years to come. Its popularity is evident in the sheer mass of stages to be found and played, and naturally some demonstrate similar ideas and approaches.
One of the most popular - in terms of Star Ranking - creators is being accused of plagiarism, however, in a bit of a spin on the normal conversation around user levels. Recser8 (as per Miiverse) is the number one most starred creator when you look up the 'Weekly' ranking at the time of writing, claiming 10th position in the all-time list. As one of the most prolific and played creators they'll clearly get a lot of attention.
Some are accusing them of plagiarism, however - reader 1958Fury pointed us to three 'copies' and a thread of regular Super Mario Maker players on GameFAQs where there's some discussion around the topic. The game does make it impossible to simply download and re-publish stages, of course, so it'd be cruder copying at work here - seeing a concept and re-creating it.
We've looked through three examples - you can see IDs, upload dates and our perspective on them below; star ranking numbers were accurate at time of writing.
- Original: 7ACB-0000-0106-B026 - Jared (2nd December) - 22 stars from 53 plays
- Alleged Copy: 269E-0000-0108-FA93 - Recser8 (3rd December) - 2513 stars from 25719 plays
The second stage is extremely similar, adopting the same core single-screen puzzle and items; it does use a different game template.
- Original: CC94-0000-00F1-FA29 - Lantis (20th November) - 67 stars from 216 plays
- Alleged Copy: EB3C-0000-0104-A30F - Recser8 (30th November) - 1161 stars from 21603 plays
As this is a recreation of the Super Mario Bros. opening stage, but with an auto-scroll and impeding wall on the left, this is the most obvious similarity yet - they're practically identical.
- Original: A114-0000-00ED-55A9 - TAJ (16th November) - 15 stars from 43 plays
- Alleged Copy: F378-0000-0115-44C8 - Recser8 (12th December) - 3392 stars from 20703 plays
A longer gap between these, with the first having an auto-scroll and being far harder; the alleged copy does utilise the same broad ideas without the auto-scroll, with some specific puzzles being the same.
For the creators in question there's some obvious annoyance here, exacerbated by the huge popularity of Recser8 in the game. Of course, accusations of plagiarism regularly occur against popular creators in all walks of life - writers, song composers and other creatives with a lot of success sometimes find themselves bearing the brunt of claims like these. Defining where the line is between taking inspiration from a source and copying it outright isn't always easy, either.
The codes are above, in any case, it's worth trying out these levels and making up your own minds as to whether there's plagiarism to be found from one of Super Mario Maker's most Starred creators.