The Mario Kart series is one of the most popular Nintendo franchises out there; with the original Super Mario Kart releasing for the SNES (Super Nintendo Entertainment System) in 1992. Since, there have been several games in the series with the most recent being Mario Kart Tour releasing on mobile platforms in 2019.
Throughout the games, much has changed except for fact that violence is still heavily encouraged by using item boxes to get items at random. Key items in the game use some form of virtual violence. For example, the famous blue shell which hits the player in first place, creating a large explosion that also damages other players.
Have you ever considered that the blue shell is a bomb? Unlikely. It could very easily kill someone or multiple people within its blast radius.
This is only one of many examples of items that can be used to attack other players. Many other notable ones include: the green shell, magic star, bullet bill and the red shell.
The red shell is particularly deadly, acting as a homing missile which hones in on a player in front or behind whoever threw it.
In preparation for this article, three colleagues and I sat and played Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for a cumulative total of 50 hours over the period of a month. Immediately, we noticed the harmful effects of encouraging violence amongst a younger playerbase. Furthermore, I continued my research via the online play feature within the game for another 30 hours. Many of my opponents appeared to be younger people, many being young children. These children are the target audience of Nintendo and were playing a game that encourages violence as well as normalises road rage.
Starting in 1992, millions upon millions of kids have been exposed to the violence of mario kart. How many of these kids have turned out more violent because of playing games like this? Well, it’s hard to tell but some studies have estimated upwards of 50 or 60%, with the average being around 30%. This is still a huge amount of kids being more violent, nearly 1/3rd on average. And with the sheer amount of kids playing video games currently, it’s no wonder that kids are becoming more and more violent.
So, how do we solve this? We remove all video games that contain violence from stores and make possession of them illegal for all. The games market can not be allowed to exploit children any longer!