In a tiny room, after homework was done for the day, a chubby pair of hands reached out to switch on an old PC. The UPS beeped endlessly, giving way to a whir of sounds and lights that slowly blinked to life. Nimble fingers guided the cursor straight to the lower left corner and the sound of the double click on Mario might as well have been a Mozart masterpiece.
The computer was slow and the chubby hands of today probably wouldn’t have waited for the game to start loading and quickly switched over to something else but 12 years ago, they didn’t. The blue and the green filled the screen and the little man with the moustache appeared. The Control key faced few test hits and saw Mario jump up and down.
The keys and the system warmed up, right along with the joy-filled heart as Mario jumped through hurdles, hit bricks, collected coins, crossed pipes, collected lives and killed tortoises, forever looking for his princess. The call for dinner was ignored as poor Mario fell off and appeared again before you knew it. The game went on and on until the power cable got rudely unplugged and what had been an invitation to dinner turned into a command.
When lives were simpler and bed times were strict, what an adventure it was to stay past midnight. When all were asleep and a marathon Mario session commenced which was to be bragged about later in lunch break that day. It didn’t register that mostly, the warm monitor was ignored with a smile.
What had hurt the eye was the screen, way too bright
But months later, when the glasses came on,
Despite scolds, regret was nowhere in sight.
For what fun it had been
To throw the school bag away
And stare at the lights on the screen
No contests were won
Nor even participated in
But level 6 was bragged on and on
No potential gamer existed
Only the mirth of a child
That enjoyed the first game she ever played
Mario had journeyed past so many levels
And in his quest for his princess
Had created many happy childhoods.
Years later when studies had taken their toll and the only game played was ‘word search’ on a smartphone, a college fest showed Mario in its posters and write-ups and the familiar mirth came rushing back. Here is a shout out to all those, whose lives had been so much better due to Mario to come to NITR this November and celebrate Mario and his adventures.
Games begin: 4th November 2016
So, Level Up.