The character of Super Mario is as synonymous with video games as Santa Claus is to Christmas. First debuting in the classic 1981 arcade hit Donkey Kong (another gaming mascot that could arguably sit on gaming’s “Mount Rushmore”), Mario has been providing some of the most successful and most fun gaming experiences ever. While some of gaming’s greats have faded since their heyday (see Pac-Man, Lara Croft, Sonic the Hedgehog, and more) Super Mario has persevered.
Mario didn’t just save Nintendo, but resurrected a dead home console market. In brief, the home video game market came to a screeching halt in 1983, when companies like Atari and Coleco flooded the market with high priced, low quality video game titles and consoles. Customer confidence swayed, and with the rise of home computing, video games that were played on the television were seen to be yesterday’s news.
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