So I’ve been having my Media Studies students break down what’s culturally encoded in the entertainment we consume. But what’s up with a rotund, conspicuously Italian, working class plumber-hero perpetually saving a damsel-in-distress princess? Why, for instance, does Mario always remain a plumber after he preserves the status quo and restores order to Mushroom Kingdom? His reward is, what, a kiss? No social mobility? Bullshit. Mario is a victim of a vicious class system, yo. Maybe Bowser just wants to liberate the oppressed. What if he’s the enlightened one, Mario’s a prisoner in a cave, and Peach is casting shadows on the wall?
In other words, I hate Rainbow Road.