MDA & 8 Kinds of Fun

With the recent release of the movie, it only feels right to discuss the Super Mario Bros game, specifically the version on the Wii.

This game had a fairly simple collection of mechanics, which included walking, running, jumping, and throwing something such as a fireball or ice.

Growing up, I would play this game with my sister, who was a few years younger than me. She wasn’t necessarily the biggest fan of video games at the time, but we both enjoyed spending time together. This particular Mario game had a multiplayer option, which allowed a collaborative dynamic, enabling us to achieve the fellowship aesthetic. In this collaborative gameplay mode, one person can “revive” their teammate if their character dies. The dead character will float in a bubble across the screen, which provides the alive player with the mechanic of “reviving” them by jumping and making contact with the bubble. However, this mechanic of reviving a teammate led to a very interesting dynamic between my sister and I. She would sometimes get frustrated with a certain part of a level, and die intentionally so she would not have to complete it herself. Instead, she would ask me to get past a certain obstacle and revive her later. Despite each level of the game resembling an obstacle course and creating the challenge type of fun, my sister did not always view each challenge as fun, particularly when the challenges were too challenging.


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