Mario is one of the most recognisable characters in entertainment media, and has starred in a staggering number of games over the past few decades. The portly Italian plumber has also enjoyed a number of cameo roles throughout the years, and it's this element of the character's history that the latest episode of YouTube show Gaming Historian investigates.
Host Norman Caruso takes a look at Mario's appearances in non-Mario Game Boy titles, and lists the usual suspects such as Baseball, Alleyway and F1 Race. However, when he comes to Nintendo's port of Taito's Qix, things start to become a little weird.
For reasons known only to Nintendo itself, there are cut-scenes in the game which show various locations around the world, complete with Mario dressed in the local attire. Some of these are harmless enough - in Mexico for example, Mario is armed with the traditional sombrero and poncho - but others are perhaps a little more worrying. In India, Nintendo's mascot is seen wearing a turban while charming a snake, and in Africa he possesses an uncharacteristically dark skin tone and is shown carrying a spear and shield.
This just goes to show how much the industry has changed over the past few years; it's hard to imagine anyone at Nintendo signing off on these scenes today. Still, the fact that they did make their way into a game proves that perceptions of race and what is acceptable can change over time.
Do you find these scenes offensive - as Caruso clearly does - or has the world simply become too sensitive to stereotypical depictions such as these? Share your own thoughts by posting a comment below.
The world is definitely too sensitive to this sort of thing. If Caruso wants to get offended because Mario was dressed in traditional African warrior attire, he can. Its not Nintendo's fault that he's choosing to get offended.
Concern troll concerned.
"in Africa he possesses an uncharacteristically dark skin tone and is shown carrying a spear and shield" Yes, like the usual stereotypical tribal man is displayed.
Whats the big deal ? The skin tone ? Maybe Mario stood too long out in the sun and got tanned.
Debates like that are stupid beyond belief. Ever heard a german person (like myself) complain that we are mostly portrayed as lederhosen wearing fat bellied sausage and prezel eaters and beer drinkers ?
I sure didnt. Its a freakin stereotype. Thats an easy thing to assosiate, just like france and breadsticks, mexico and sombreros, germany and lederhosen, any scandinavian country and red haired vikings.
Look it up on Tv Tropes: "Values Dissonance".
If this is offensive, Punch-Out is reason for war.
It's click bait. The phrase "come on Nintendo, you're better than this" is a window into just how ridiculous the whole thing is. It's not like it just happened. This was a long time ago.
This person just wants attention and you gave it tothem. I wish this was like Reddit so I could help down vote this article.
Way to pick out a minor thing in a video about something else entirely NL
But whatever brings in the clicks right?
Come on, Gaming Historian... You're better than this.
Terrible b8 m8, I r8 0/8.
(at Qix part) What's his problem? Either he's a troll or he's taking this the wrong direction...
I find hypersensitive, politically correct whining a lot more "problematic" than anything in those games.
The spear and shield are fine, there are still plenty of hunters in Africa that might use those. The skintone change can easily be seen as blackface, though...But it's an old game, who cares?
I want a full game now.
Millenials: get offended for everything and by everything
You ever notice it's usually white people who are offended by that kinda thing? While I admit it's a li'l stereotypical, I've seen much worse then that personally. (Especially, in old "blackface" cartoons.)
It's like when white people tried to say "Speedy Gonzalez" was offensive, yet ironically, Mexican people LOVE him. I think people, especially Americans are trying to hard to be P.C., and such.
Also, in a way couldn't it be argued that Mario is an Italian-stereotype?
(In fact, my friend Anna who is of Italian-descent said she has relatives who look like him.)
Yes, it can come off as insensitive today, but keeping in mind when this game was published I think it speaks more to the evolution of how we treat issues like this. In some ways, this can be shown as a positive of how much we as a people have grown. As you guys say, there is no way TheBig "N" would approve of this today, and that is pretty significant.
I hate political correctness, I'm Mexican and I'm not offended by this, I have Spanish roots and I'm not offended either of the Resident Evil 4 or Assassin's Creed IV depiction of Spaniards, it's just a bloody game, not some racist propaganda. Everybody nowadays seems too sensitive with anything!
2015, the year people are offended by cartoons. Not the the future I envisioned.
Or stereotyped as a Nazi.
"Offended happens to everyone, offensive has no agreed upon standards"
Who cares it's a video game.
Political correctness is a socialist ideal. All of those stereotypes are based in fact, and obviously not always true. We have freedom of speech, which means that we can say virtually anything and Nintendo meant no offense by this anyway. If you got offended by this, you seriously need to grow up FAST because you will NOT survive in the cruel world with such a thin skin and catty behavior.
Slow news day?
Becoming Kotaku with every Game Theory and clickbait article.
But in all honesty, the depictions in Qix are not that offensive. Modern political correctness is getting a bit out control when these things are found. Making it a bigger deal than it is when people (usually caucasian) feel the need to be unnecessarily offended for other people who usually don't care.
Guys I totally found an image of a dude wearing a turban, and it looks like he's supposed to be from INDIA as well! Wikipedia is so racist!!!!
No, NintendoLife. YOU are better than THIS.
Really? Times were different back then. Besides, things NOWADAYS are more racist than that.
Unless I'm missing something here, I don't believe I see anything offensive about it. Doesn't this world encourage the sharing and education of different cultures? Why is it any different that they all resemble Mario?
why have we not gotten
game and watch gallery 3
and yoshi cookie nes and game boy version on the 3ds virtual console in NA
come on NOA put them on there
Definitely too sensitive. They aren't exactly mocking those cultures or races.
I was very tempted to agree with everyone else in this discussion and say 'No, this isn't offensive, political correctness gone mad etc', but then I thought to myself, as a gay man would I find a depiction of a 'gay Mario' dressed in stereotypical effeminate clothing or something like that offensive? Potentially. I don't know.
But I think it's very easy to make a blanket judgement on something like this and say 'Yes, this is definitely offensive' or 'No, this is definitely not offensive.' Taking offense at something is such a personal thing. If the guy in the video finds these images offensive then that's his right and it's fine, if other people don't, that is their right too. Ultimately though, the only response I can find to either argument is, who cares? Everyone has opinions on things and most of them don't mean much.
Stereotypes are a way for people to connect to other races. An asian in a suit isn't as recognizable as a conical hat (which we actually do wear)
So... a white American who has spent his life absorbing the culturally imperialistic crap that the American entertainment industry has been feeding him is offended that other cultures are given some visiblity and reverence by a Japanese video game mascot?
Well, aren't we just precious.
I don't see any Indian or African people objecting to this. Do you? If anything, I think people would be happy to see their culture/ethnicity being given any visiblity at all, especially as many of their nations are not producing high quality video games for the global market.
What exactly is offensive about this anyway? Is the game ridiculing other cultures or ethnicities? No. Is it dehumanising anybody in the form of nationalist propaganda that is designed to brainwash the masses into believing that they, as the "other" somehow deserve to be dead? No.
Insignificant matters offend those with insignificant priorities. There are depictions of other cultures/ethnicities nowadays that are far more detrimental, and dangerous, than some innocuous homage in an old video game.
Who cares? This was something that was like... what almost 20 years ago? Do you see them still doing this?
If this is hideously offensive to the point where we need to chastise Nintendo for being racist demons... then shouldn't Punch-Out!! have started a civil war by now?
@Sforzando D'oh! I didn't see your comment when I made my joke, which is pretty much the same thing. Great minds think alike.
@JusticeColde AMEN, BROTHER!
How else do they represent the location? Should they make African Mario have a top hat?
Not offensive at all, he was adapted to each location. Its not like he was only changed for one place, it is nice to look back and see how things have changed.
Nothing more annoying than a young privileged douchey latte white hipster calling everyone 'racist.'
As long as it doesn't make me think one race is superior. Then it's racist
Fun fact: There are unused Egyptian and Native American depictions of Mario as well.
For example, it's racist if Africans were depicted as being those that pick cotton and have giant lips.
It's racist if all the Hispanics wee depicted as Mexican bean eaters that take siestas all day and only eat beans for food
It's racist if it depicted the guy in the video as a spoiled white pig that drinks lattes with a scarf around his neck while being completely unaware of the rest of the world.... Oh wait.
Was I reading Kotaku or Nintendo Life just now? Seriously, there was really no need for this news article. Big deal that someone got upset over twenty year old cutscenes. I didn't know about this, but I thought it was pretty cool. Nothing really even close to racism here.
People are seriously way too sensitive these days. Chill.
On behalf of my pasty brethren, I'm sorry that white people have found a recent hobby in getting offended by everything. It hurts us all.
o.0 What is wrong with zulu Mario, honestly I think it would be awesome if you had a Civilization/Mario crossover.
I'm disappointed they didn't have red haired mario, naked and in woad for Ireland though
As a mexican all I can say is... This is stupid. I mean, why does he think people would get offended by that? Jeez
I don't necessarily find any of this offensive. If you want to be "easily butthurt" then fine, complain all you want, but it is kind of annoying and expected something more harmful by the subtitle.
Yeah, the industry has changed to become politically correct bullpoooooooooooop.
I'm native American and people of my race have put up with bullpooooooooooop representations of our people in media since popculture came into existence.
But most of us get over it because we know the difference between racialism and racism. Racialism is the act to pointing out mostly uniquely racial qualities. I.E. African American's excelling at sports, asians being smart, ect ect. Racism is the act of fearing or out right hating another person for the sole purpose of their race.
For example, you walk up to a arabic person and tell them they're a terrorist pig and you're going to kill them. That is racism, not showing a black man eating fried chicken, not showing a native american with a bow an arrow-- that is racialism. If there is no blatant hate or fear behind it, its racial, not racist. We need to learn this as a society.
Also, how the hell else are you going to tell what country a gameboy game is displaying with its limited technological capabilities? You'll have to show a stereotype to emphasize the global knowledge of that country. Africa has aboriginal people and elephants, why is anyone offended by this?
If they showed the prosperous parts of africa, say the buildings and cities, people wouldn't have recognized the locale.
Gotta agree with everyone else here, this is nothing to be offended over. Too many people just get offended over nothing for the sake of it lately. The rest of the video was kind of neat though.
NL is better than this crap
@AugustusOxy There's too much intelligence in your post. This much smart doesn't belong on the internet.
Actually I'm half Mexican and I found the sombreo wearing Mario to be kind of hilarious and adorable. My stance on that is the same as the whole speedy Gonzales thing as long as the character charming and they are not belittling my race and family I'm fine with it, actually most of that half of my family is like that too. Stereotypes aren't necessarily racist if they are done in fun and charming way, there are things that really grind our gears but for the most part its when ACTUAL people on the news are insulting us and being genuine about it.
So weird, I just saw this video a couple days ago and started following Gaming Historian. I thought what he was saying was more of a joke than actual offense by the stereotypical Mario pictures, lavishing the fact that something like that has ever existed, let alone in the last 20 years or so.
As for me, I find it hard to be offended by stereotypes because I'm the hardest race on the planet to make fun of because we white folks are just so bland and boring. Almost like I've been sitting in a room for 26 years eating saltines and then suddenly I'm here right now.
Did I click on kotaku? Come on here lets get some news about games, I mean really this is just childish.
LOL, this is definitely not a case of horrid racism.
Even today, most Japanese people don't have the same Western mentality of what constitutes a 'racist' caricature - let alone in the pre-internet age. Some may call them ignorant - but I simply see them as culturally different.
Even if that WASN'T the case, this example isn't exactly 'Uncle Remus' material. Gaming back then was simpler and more innocent. The Zulu Mario is just a broad representation of African culture in a simplistic handheld game - surely that's nothing to rage about? If an Aussie Mario was pictured as a Crocodile Dundee-esque character, I know I wouldn't be offended!
Oil up, and hit the gym with me!
Media worldwide is to blame for ressurrecting rascism to try and make it worse than ever.
The whole rascism thing is annoying, and will later be as bad as it was 50-100 years ago.
Eh, I can see where people could be somewhat offended. However, it's not like Nintendo is putting Mario into blackface now. Are people too sensitive to this sort of thing? Yes. Were times different back then? Yes. Is this making a mountain out of a molehill? Yes.
In any case NL is not the place to be discussing this.
In short Nintendo has learned not to do this. Why bring up a problematic past if they have changed? Stop being so squeamish.
People are so sensitive these days...
What in the world is going on here? What is offensive about that? How else do you show other parts of the world? What a weird, weird weirdo article.
Time for everyone to defend this because there's no way their beloved videogame could ever do anything wrong
PS just because I'm posting this doesn't automatically mean I'm Jack Thompson or Anita Sarkeesian or whoever it is this week
Yeah, I can see why people are offended,
but this was years ago and unfortunately, part of the norm back then.
Judging Nintendo today for being "better than this" is rather silly.
They ARE "better than this", it's why going back and seeing this seems so ludicrous today.
Potential plot twist:
These pictures don't show Mario. They show Mario's long lost cousins.
Eh, the game was made a long time ago.
Is that even Mario? Last time I checked Mario doesn't have a receding hairline.
Does he change on screen? Maybe, these are just people from around the world that resemble Mario.
Still it's better than Resi 5. Not talking about the first levels where you happen to be playing a white guy shooting zombies that happen to be in Africa but the later levels where you fight infected tribesmen sterotypes. But as Yahtzee said it's not a true offence as not being aware, "Capcom ins't evil, they're just stupid!"
It funny how everyone here calls the game historian offended while he clearly is not. He points out a mistake made in the past. That's it.
It's also funny he points out a black mario while he sees no harm in sexualized girls in the exact next shot. and no-one on this forum seems to mention that.
And last but not least, it's also funny to see how everyone speaks of him being too sensitive while the majority here seems to be waaaaay more sensitive when it comes to these topics.
All in all it's a very funny post.
@TeeJay The guy who made the video actually emailed us bringing this segment to our attention, and even provided screens. We didn't pick it out - he tipped us off to it.
And that's why I stopped subscribing a while ago, he takes forever to do d video and when he does it turns out to be boring!
"Norman Caruso @GamingHistorian
Uh oh...I've upset some Nintendo fans https://www.nintendolife.com/news/2015/01/video_youtubes_gaming_historian_takes_offense_at_one_element_of_marios_game_boy_past …
lol what a silly tool.
"Pie Cross"? Come on, you're better than this.
@Damo He did?! In that case I apologise for what I said. Though you have to admit publishing something like this gives off a strong odor of clickbait. I thought you guys saw the video and zeroed in on this while ignoring everything else for the sake of clicks. Again, sorry.
@TeeJay I think it's still a very interesting topic to look at. I find it interesting that perceptions of what is acceptable have changed over the past 25 years.
It is perfectly possible to discuss such topics without people assuming there's some kind of agenda.
I'm gonna be offended by something. Don't know what yet but when it happens I'll be so offended everyone will know about it.
@Damo I just don't get it. In a very short period of the whole video, he expresses his discomfort with the game, and says, "Come on Nintendo. You're better than this." and you deem it worthy of an article.
I appreciate that you're trying to point out the differences in what's been accepted in gaming over time — honestly, I really do and I'm not being sarcastic. I also think some of the commenters are overreacting... But if you care about the issue, then why not just make your own soapbox article on the issue instead of using some of his own words? Maybe you could talk about other examples, like Punch Out. Was it really necessary to give that little part of the video its own article?
I'm sorry but the fact he tipped you off makes it look more like clickbait and a way for him to get more views on his video, when the majority of it doesn't even focus on the issue at hand.
And for the record guys, in the video he didn't even say, "I'm offended." or "It's offensive." Nothing like that. So quit trying to act all smart cause you think someone is too sensitive — not that any of you haven't overreacted, by the way.
All of the racial slurs on television and movies these days, and something from the past comes into play. I grew up in this time of this game, and nothing in the world was really truly like what it is today, at least through my standpoint. Anyways, it was a game to show kids scenes from around the world, not something to be taken as racial. This guy needs a life instead of just finding ways to complain.
If he gets offended by that why isn't he offended by Mario in the first place? Oh a hypocrite besides being an idiot.
@shaneoh Or that. And guess what, i still dont give a goomba about it.
They are among the worst groups of people who ever wandered the earth but they are still recognisable.
Darth Vader and his henchmen were based upon them, the Helghast from Killzone were based upon them and both are very beloved fictional factions.
It just became a memorable trope. The "army in black trenchcoats" became a synonym for "the ultimate badguys" that is instantly recognizable.
Never have i thought that im being misrepresented or labeled a Nazi by default.
And once more @topic:
Just picture search "african tribesmen", "Mexican" "german" and look at the results.
Thats what they were trying to portrait. Thats the first thing that comes to peoples minds. Those are tried and true tropes and stereotypes.
No one has to identify with them personally, but they work perfectly to pinpoint the origin country of your fictional character.
I'm offended 'cause Mario stopped stereotyping my race (I'm Italian, mamma mia!) to start stereotyping other ones!!!!
Exactly, it's a charicature. They're supposed look that way, I have one of myself and they gave me narrow eyes
I guess people in those places aren't allowed to wear sombreros or cone hats anymore because one guy views it as racist
@OdnetninAges I h8s all those 8's.
@Fandabidozi I am offended by your attitude, just because I haven't found anything actually offensive to be offended by today.
Seriously, he's like those middle aged women who love their soapies, tabloid papers, celebrity rumour magazines and current affair shows so they can yell at the baddies.
@Einherjar Then why not just show those stereotypes, rather than getting Mario to "black up" and pretend to be an African tribesman?
OK, so once again, the guy in the original video not once used the words "offended"or "racist". The accusations most of you are making about the guy are really out of line. No a need to mock him and call him an idiot or hypocrite just because he said it was "weird".
And I agree with you on that last part, @Damo. My first thought and main issue was how odd it was to make Mario's skin darker. Just felt totally unneeded , like if someone cosplays a character but painted their skin darker to be recognizable. Changing the skin tone as if it's part of the costume feels just slightly insulting.
Racism continues to be a huge problem in the world nowadays. I won't get deep into that, because, well, that's not really why I come to this site.
I will say, however, that I don't think this is racism. A bit weird, sure, but not racist. I don't see why someone would get offended by that.
You basically explained why this is racist--if every culture in the world once had spears and shields, then it is indeed racist (or at the very least, culturally insensitive) for only Africa to be depicted in this backwards way.
You guys defending Nintendo in this are, what, almost entirely white males? Then you have no idea what it's like to be on the receiving end of racism or prejudice--and neither do I. I'm a minority in two points, but they're hardly points that anyone cares about, so I have really never been treated differently because of it. But I'm still just a white guy.
@jedisquidward You are hardly Jack Thompson or Anita Sarkeesian for understanding the problem here and pointing out that fanboyism will outweigh the values dissonance. Besides that, it's woefully unfair to compare Anita Sarkeesian and Jack Thompson. Jack Thompson wanted to destroy video games, and Anita Sarkeesian simply wants women to be treated better in various entertainment media, particularly noting heavy sexism in gaming--and she is right more than she's wrong, and it's wise for us to recognize this. After all, I like women, I have a girlfriend and a mother, and I am never pleased to see them treated poorly because of their gender.
I love that website, and yes, this is indeed a case of values dissonance--no different than the insanely racist cartoons Disney made ages ago that they would rather sweep under the rug these days. When Qix was released, this was more a case of cultural insensitivity, but these days does smack of racism--especially considering how many very modern cities dot that continent.
For the rest of you who refuse to see the problem with the image, this is an image of Abuja, Nigeria: http://www.bdonline.co.uk/pictures/741x405/7/4/7/1746747_PA-Nigeria-15030363-web.jpg
This isn't the worst or most shocking image of values dissonance out there, but it's also not like this is the first time Nintendo has been insensitive to other cultures: Vodka Drunkenski, anyone? http://www.toplessrobot.com/2012/02/the_8_most_ethnically_stereotypical_punch-out_char.php
Nintendo is not perfect, and I'm sure they now find this Qix image embarrassing.
Wait, why is the Sombrero and Poncho okay when the other two aren't? I've never met a Mexican who has ever worn those two items before.
@Quorthon I'm a white girl and I witness racism. I'm also Irish. We have a history of it, stemming from the British. I thought that was all in the past, but the only place that anyone has ever been racist towards me, is Britain.
I'm curious about the racism that you receive from the British, considering Irish and British people are, like German and French people and most of the US and Canada, just more white people. It's all the same race. That might be a form of nationalist prejudice, not necessarily racism. You know, the way the US makes fun of Canada--but the US and Canada have more of a bickering sibling relationship rather than the hostility that the British have had towards the Scots or Irish.
Mario being "blacked up" isn't offensive. Maybe to white people it is. Black face comedy way back when was offensive not only for the make-up, but because people would act buffoonish and overplay black stereotypes of the day. So it was mocking with black make-up on your face. Mario himself is a caricature of an Italian. So it could be argued that his existence at all is racist or offensive.
The Mario with the darkened skin in that picture is not offensive or racist. Neither is the snake charmer, the mariachi, or any of the other depictions. If one is offended by that, they are trying too hard to be offended.
The Sombrero and poncho really aren't much better, but the "wild savage" costume of the African setting is, indeed worse. I have never seen any of the Mexican people in my extended family wear a sombrero.
I once asked a Hmong friend of mine about racist stereotypes they (as a culture) have of white people, and about the worst of it was that white people are two-faced, essentially self-serving liars. I pretty much responded with, "that's it? White people are way more racist, and that's pretty much true."
By all means, explain why. Indeed, show me where white males are a minority and treated like second-class citizens. Show me where someone of European descent is depicted as a spear-throwing savage. Nintendo Life is read and used by, largely, a North American and European audience, two places heavily dominated by white males.
For that matter, by all means, explain to me why a fanbase that routinely criticizes and hates violent, adult-oriented video games would be so willing to defend obvious racial insensitivity?
@Damo Again, let me answer with another question:
Why not Mario ?
Mario is the star of the game, i personally think its funny and entertaining seeing him in all those different roles.
Youre doing as if mario is anything more than just an empty shell with a recognizable mustache.
He has no personality traits, no character other than his recognisable visual key features.
He was a Rock, a Spring, a Bee, a Ghost, had more jobs and hobbies than we all have hair on our heads, so why not a native african tribesmam with his most recognizable features ?
If Mario would have just stood there with a spear and shield in his hand with an elephant in the bakcground, people would have whined about the animal cruelty that is implied, since the stereotype that they tried to show would be more or less lost.
That's pretty amusing. Next story.
I agree wholeheartedly with @Mommar about the selectiveness of people's problems. Bet nobody would have batted an eyelid if they'd sent Mario to Scotland and given him a kilt and bagpipes. And not everybody in England is a Beefeater, but I'm sure having him visit here dressed as one wouldn't have caused a stir either.
People need to chill, it's not like Nintendo were saying by doing this, "everyone in this country is represented by this one image". It's just that these are some of the things that can be associated with those parts of the world (ongoing tribal culture in parts of Africa, and snake charming in India are things that a lot of people would be able to associate with those places, without there being any negativity attached to that). It wouldn't have worked if they'd just stuck him in the same regular clothes in every section.
I'm all for peace, love and equality, but sometimes I think the "baa baa rainbow sheep" brigade could lighten up a bit. I know it's often used as a scapegoat phrase to gloss over some seriously wrong actions, but sometimes "just a bit of harmless fun" really is just a bit of harmless fun!
PC police are at it again
Look at all the white people complaining that they're the true discrimination victims
Allow me to clean up here (hopefully):
Perhaps this is potentially racist. It's a question of whether this particular depiction of a stereotypical African is derogatory compared to the other stereotypes In Qix. Ultimately if you're not a black African you shouldn't act the boss of whether or not this is racist. Let African people be the judge of that.
As somebody else said, this could just be racialism. Indeed, some African people hunt with spears and live in tribes in sone areas. And we should just accept that that happens. What I would be iffy about is making Mario black. There's no need for that. You don't go to Africa and just become black.
And yes, I do think NL is just using this for clickbait. It is a small part of a video. And I would not be offended at the Nintendo of today. This game is very old.
@Einherjar Where I'm from Germans are stereotyped as Nazis and people without a sense of humour or even an interpretation of what a joke is. Of course this is not realistic, but are you offended?
This, pretty much. Nothing offense here. Move along folks.
I dont believe this article portrays it properly. There's a difference between being offended and disappointed. I find that Norman is more of the latter, and I dont don't blame him — especially when you start getting into stuff like blackface. No one is butt hurt, but when you love a company so much and is considered family friendly and you get some borderline stuff, one can't help but be surprised and a little disappointed.
We are talking about a Gameboy game, right? How many colors was it able to display again? It's just kind of a silly complaint.
I think it's Mario's brother from another mother.
@JellySplat Totally agree with you here. Get over it, it's a video game from many years ago.
Exactly. IMO there are just some people in this world who's opinions should just be kept to themselves. "C'mon Nintendo, you're better than this" what a prick!
Lol! Those PC police with their "Anti-Fun" and "Fun-control" acts, here to take away our gameboys, and our right to laugh at stereotypes... What jerks!
Seriously, if you aren't a minority, you have literally no right to tell anyone to "get over it" when it comes to racial stereotyping.
Dude, I agree. Pretty dumb comment.
I don't understand why this would be considered offensive.
Is there even any sort of context here. are they even animated? if they're animated then obviously the sprites are layered in such a way that they can only display so many colors at once. hence the elephant would look like dark-green on the screen which is shared with the skin on Mario.
This leaves 3 additional colors for Mario to utilize, Mario used a lighter green on the clothing to add a little distinctive variance, there is a 5th color but that requires the void of color used at all, it normally wouldn't be a problem unless the characters move past background tiles like in Mario Land 2: Six Golden Coins. something had to give, if they colored in the grass then the shade-variance would be non-noticable for the elephant/mario.
PS: seems clickbaity.
@JellySplat is this seriously the best response you have?
Well "literally" they do have the right to say it. Not saying they should but even in a serious debate (which this absolutely is not) you cannot deny them that right.
And this, ladies and gentlemen, is how the word racist is losing its meaning. You can see it happen with words like misogynist as well: people use it when describing such trivial nonsense, and so eventually the boy will have cried wolf one too many time. Ironically, this is the kind of stuff that will let actual racists get away later down the line.
@rayword45 Go back to tumblr, dude.
@Haiassai Yeah, I agree that it was actually disappointment on Gaming Historian's part rather than taking offense.
Either way, I still feel like people are generally more sensitive about these kinds of things than they need to be, and we can largely blame our current white-guilt culture for that.
No. I simply didn't want to waste my valuable time on you
Go to reddit if you want to argue about racism.
Honestly, IDK why NintendoLife even decided to make this post about this. They should've predicted that stupid people would get defensive. Its like the "Mii-quaility" thing all over again, people were getting banned on that post.
Give us news about videogames NintendoLife!
@TheDavyStar Im in no way offended by this. Why should i ?
Its part of history, its recognisable and most importantly, its over.
The thing about "there is no need to make him black" why not ?
African Tribesmen ARE black. Mario was used to portrait these people, because they are a recognisable part of africa.
He could as well have been a kangaroo for australia. Would it be necessary to do that ? Of course not. But name me the first stereotypical visual trait when you think of australian people ?
Just do the test and ask people what they think of when mentioning the term "african tribesmen".
And thats what they were going for. All visual cues to make that image instantly be recognizable in shape of Mario, being the mascot.
You see, people screaming "thats racist" left and right are also the ones saying skin color doesnt matter. So why is it such a big deal if Mario is portrayed with one that resembles that of real african tribesmen ?
If skincolor truely doesnt matter at all, changing it for the sake of paying homage shouldnt matter eaither.
Discussions like that always make me think of pale people going to a tanning booth to turn from cheesy white to toasty tan brown.
Isnt that racist too ? Arent they changing their ethnicity ?
This thought is at least as ridiculous as thinking that portraying mario with a darker skincolor is somehow racist. I mean, who does he hurt with portraying these people ?
Possibly the most ignorant comment section I've ever seen.
@Squid I know right? Too many people claiming this stuff is racist, without even understanding the bare basics of what constitutes as actual racism. Too many feels, too few reals. A bunch of stereotypes are no big deal, it'd be the exact same as me throwing a hissyfit about the stereotype of basement dwelling gamers that drink nothing but Mountain Dew and only eat Doritos.
@Chrizzel28 Except nobody, in the original video or the article, said that it's racist or is calling Nintendo racist. I don't know where you're getting that word from.
@Squid It is heavily, heavily implied by the guy taking offense to such a minor thing. Just because the specific word isn't used, that doesn't mean the meaning isn't implied. Essentially saying that you can't portray a character in such a way is clearly an attempt to accuse Nintendo of being racist, or having been racist at the time. "You're better than that" implies that there was a wrongdoing of some sort. And let's be honest; there wasn't. A loosely insensitive portrayal of a stereotype is not wrong, it's just kind of 'meh'.
@Chrizzel28 He said that they were stereotypical and uncomfortable to see, and that Nintendo is better than that. No implication of wrongdoing there, only that he thinks it was unnecessary to use stereotypes.
At no point did I ever get the impression "he took offense", or is "clearly" attempting to accuse Nintendo of being racist. You're jumping to conclusions.
You're also overreacting when you say, "this is how the word racist is losing its meaning." when the word was never used at all.
@Squid Fair enough.
People are too sensitive these days. It's just a harmless cameo appearance in a kids video game, nothing to get upset or offended about.
This comment section's edge is so sharp I could shave my face with it. Nothing worse than a bunch of internet dudes complaining about someone taking issue with the presentation of race in something they like. Who's missing thick skin again?
Also, for those asking how else Africa can be presented without blackface Mario warrior? How about you throw some safari gear on him and put a giraffe in the background. Kids love giraffes and especially loved safari animals during this period. Animalbooks.
My God, people are so sensitive these days... (oh wait, might offend someone).
Get over yourself.
There is nothing worse than what you just described? Whaaaat? Seriously though instead of insulting only one group like you said I will just say both are annoying.
yeah, sorry, not especially culturally sensitive on Nintendo's part right there. India is more than just a place with snake charmers, and Africa isn't even a country, it's like a ton of countries with all different kinds of stuff going on.
Mario as a tourist visiting these places? great. Some non-Mario peeps waving hi? fine. Zulu Mario? uh-uh
but heck, let's ask Reggie! Maybe he'll respond on twitter or something.
Yes, obviously white people know nothing of being discriminated against. Never mind the fact Romans, Greeks, Europeans in general (which are where most "white people" originate from), Jewish, etc, etc, etc, have all experienced slavery and discrimination. Discrimination is not something unique to Africans and is something all cultures have experienced and even contributed to. The argument that "only minorities" understand stereotypes and discrimination is laughable at best, considering the majority of cultures have already experienced discrimination, stereotyping, slavery, etc.. The logic is a form of discrimination itself as you're basically saying "if you are not part of _ group, you cannot understand." Were the scales tilted in the opposite direction there would be no complaint from you because it would suit your point of view, but because people who are "not minorities" (an assumption on your part since you have no idea who is a minority here and who isn't) cannot possibly comprehend, you have a problem with it.
And I just wasted more time on this discussion than it warranted. Doesn't take much for one person to spark a needless debate in the comments section when there is nothing here to debate, as pointed out by some of the others above, there was nothing really offensive here. This isn't tumblr, and I think the majority just view the entire article as pointless clickbait anyway. Mario is essentially a walking stereotype of Italians, and yet I don't think I've ever heard a single complaint about that. I also find it odd that the author of the article doesn't seem to thinka sombrero or poncho is such a big deal, but darker skin and a tribal outfit is? Why? What's the difference?
Gotta be honest... I don't get it. At this point I'm wondering what other nonsense Nintendolife is going to post as "news".
@JellySplat I just can't stand it when someone thinks they have the right to speak for an entire group of people and then pull all this guilt by association crap.
Anyways, I've made my point, I'm not going to waste anymore time on him.
Japanese video games and anime have had a lot of struggles to catch up with what the rest of the world finds offensive. The struggle was especially tricky with recognizing racial charicatures. Characters inspired by blackface popped up in some notible places(and often were later updated to give the characters purple skin after the mistake was realized). I find these things pretty uncomfortable, but I try to keep it in context. Remember that in Japanese theater all the performers paint their bodies and having people on the stage entirely in black makeup is just supposed to mean that they're just there to move set pieces and are supposed blend into the shadows and be ignored.
@sweetiepiejonus maybe Googling figure of speech will help you get it?
I'm not appreciative of how my comments are deleted yet all these comments of "you people need thicker skin" are somehow left to stay.
But, regardless, @OnionOverlord speaks the most intelligence here by far. I admit that I'm very presumptive about the race of other commenters, but that lies in the fact that the US is about 73 percent Caucasian and Europe about 90 percent. I also very much agree that it's bizarre that the author of this article thinks that stereotypes like a poncho and Sombrero are A-OK. If I may argue anything, it's that the US culture is, without doubt, white dominated and white run (don't try to argue this), so that is why I claim that white commenters (which I am presuming their race) really have no standing in "you need thicker skin". Because, WITHIN THE US, racism applies to every other race (yes I know about Irish discrimination and whatnot).
Also, Mario is definitely a walking Italian stereotype, but he's like Chico Marx. He's way too awesome to be offensive.
On another note, I agree that this is definitely a very clickbaity article, and NintendoLife is generally against political debate so I dunno why they'd post something like this.
I'm with you man!
You excited for the new Majoras mask game? I sure am!
Maybe you aren't clear what I meant by following up my comment with "seriously though..."
@rayword45: your main comments were left standing, it was the worst of that spat you and the other people were having against one another that was deleted. frankly, i'm not appreciative of the opportunities quite a few people around here are taking just to be as nasty and rude as possible to one another, but people are allowed to have their say whether we personally agree or not. :/
@theblackdragon With all due respect, this article is very, very obviously going to bring out the worst in some people, what were you expecting?
@rayword45: for one, that people who get into fights with each other not complain when the entire spat is removed but appropriate respect is paid to comments left before things got to that point.
in all seriousness, it's just incredibly disappointing to watch people i've seen be friendly and constructive in other discussions suddenly turn on one another when a more polarizing topic comes around is all.
@JellySplat Of course!
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