I don't know about you, but I've had an extremely busy Wednesday, and I'll be taking some work home with me tonight to get caught up.

With everything going on, I almost forgot that today's an unofficial holiday that I can't let pass without spreading the joy and nostalgia to as many of you as possible.

Today (March 10) is Mario Day!

You know, as in Super Mario, the Italian plumber who's been dodging barrels, stomping goombas, racing karts, warping through pipes, and saving princesses since his first appearance in 1981's arcade classic Donkey Kong.

Before we go on, let's answer this question: Why is March 10 Mario Day?

Well...MAR 10. MAR10. MARIO!

If you're around my age (I was born in '86), Nintendo was a huge part of your childhood. Chances are you either owned a Nintendo system or had a friend who did, and you spent many a sleepover trying to conquer the map in Super Mario Bros. 3, beat each other's records in Mario Kart, or try not to yell in rage too loudly (and wake your parents) during a heated game of Mario Party.

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Back then, Nintendo pretty much ruled the world, and Mario was the undisputed king of our childhoods.

Today, Nintendo's up against stiff competition from Sony and Microsoft, and while they're not the ubiquitous giant they used to be, I have to say that I admire their spirit of experimentation, both with their games and their consoles. They're always trying new things with their controllers and finding innovative ways to shake up gameplay, but the gameplay is always at the heart of what they do. In that way, Nintendo kind of reminds me of punk rock - it can get crazy, but at its core it's simple and to the point. You pick it up and you play.

Hopefully I'll get my work done at a reasonable hour and be able to revisit some of my favorite Nintendo games tonight. I still have some of my old systems, including my trusty GameBoy with my favorite Mario game, Super Mario Land 2.

By the way, Spring Break is coming up, and if you're looking for ideas to put on your road trip list, might I recommend the National Video Game Museum? You don't have to drive halfway across the country to get there. It's right here in Texas - Frisco, to be precise.

Gaming culture is bigger and more inclusive than ever before, and the museum offers an opportunity for you to revisit your favorite childhood games and consoles while sharing that nostalgia and passion with your kids.

So, whatever your preferred platform, give Mario his props today for helping save the gaming industry and revolutionize the way we play.

 

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