application essay: The Power of Super Mario Brothers
D. Select a creative work -- a novel, a film, a poem, a
musical piece, a painting, or other work of art -- that
has influenced the way you view the world and the way you
view yourself. Discuss the work and its effect on you.
Throughout the short duration of my life, I have tried to
expose myself to as many creative stimuli as possible. I've
read hundreds of books, watched countless movies, and have
contemplated numerous pieces of art. While they have all
altered me to certain degrees, there is one work that has
influenced me to a further extent than any of the others:
namely, the video game Super Mario Brothers.
people would find it laughable to view Super Mario Brothers
as an intellectual work of art. I suggest that these people
do not truly understand the game. Yes, on the surface, it
does appear to be a simplistic side-scrolling game produced
by an archaic 8-bit piece of hardware. If one looks deeper,
however, one will find an epic quest involving the human
themes of love, disappointment, self-improvement, and the
forces of good versus those of evil. These are themes that
everyone faces at some point in their lives.
himself is a very courageous, yet unspectacular young man.
By reading the instruction booklet, I discovered that he
is a native to Brooklyn, where he makes a living plumbing.
He represents the everyman, a person I can relate to. I
felt Mario's pain, I celebrated his triumphs. In essence,
while playing the game, I became Mario.
goal of the game is to free the Princess Toadstool from
the clutches of Bowser, King of the Koopas. Princess Toadstool
represents the love, the completeness we all strive to find.
She is very distant- we know very little about her. We're
not even sure what she looks like. We only know that we
need to find her. She's supposed to make the task worthwhile.
the king of the Koopas, represents the hardships faced throughout
existence. Mirroring real life, the hardships in the game
seem to pop up much more frequently than the benefits. I
was forced to fight Bowser a total of eight times, each
time expecting to finally reveal the princess. Instead,
I defeated the terrible fire-breathing monster seven times,
only to be greeted after each victory by one of the princess'
lowly aides, the "mushroom retainers." They gave
only one message: "I'm sorry, but our princess is in
another castle!" My brief moment of triumph was shattered;
I had to trudge onward through another set of challenges
and continue the search for wholeness.
taught me, as a five-year-old, to cope with disappointment.
I no longer viewed misfortunes as the end of all happiness;
they instead became mere drawbacks. Being raised by lower-middle-class
parents, in one of the "less wealthy" neighborhoods
of Philadelphia, this proved to be a valuable lesson.
Super Mario Brothers is much more than a mere game, it IS
a game, nonetheless. The player is having fun, despite the
fact that reptilian monstrosities are attacking him. This
taught me that life should be enjoyed, even when it may
seem, at times, unbearable. It is all too easy to dismiss
existence as an endless stream of torment.
Mario Brothers, in the end, is a game with a message. It
has taught me many valuable lessons about real life. I'd
say that's a pretty amazing task- for a mere videogame.