05-09-2008, 09:09 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Genealogy of Mario
No comment necessary.
Other than writing for 4cr I have a full time job as an English teacher. This year I switched to teaching elementary school. The kids are great but it is an exhausting job. Anyway, recently I decided to do a lesson about family structure. To teach English words like Father, Mother, Brother, Sister, etc.
As with a lot of lessons I do with first graders, I have to make it as interesting as possible or I can’t hold their attention for more than about 7 seconds. Kids this age love video games. Especially Mario games, so when teaching the word “brother” I decided to use a word they already know from the game “Super Mario Brothers“. However as it turned out, the one who got the lesson was me. Here’s what happened:
(This was almost all in Japanese, but I’ll writing it in English here)
Me: Here is a good way for you to remember the word for “brother”. Finish this phrase: “Super Mario _______” (wait for response)
Energetic boy: Galaxy!
Me: Ok, it’s a bit different.. try again, “Super Mario _____”
Me: One more try. “Super Mario ______”
Boy: I got it! Brothers!
Me: Good. That’s right. The word is “brother”. So who is Mario’s brother?
Boy in the back: Wario!
Me: Is he?
Me: Ok, well.. Does Mario have another brother?
Different boy: Waluigi!
Me: He’s Mario’s brother too?
(Students discuss this among themselves and eventually decide)
Boy: No, only Wario.
Me: OK. But I think he has another brother.
Me: Yes! Luigi is Mario’s Bro..
Excited boy who interrupted me: Peach!
Me: Peach? Peach is Mario’s brother?
Girl: Of course not! Peach is Mario’s sister!
Me: Oh sorry..
Girl: It’s ok.
Me: Who else is in Mario’s family?
Boy: Koopa! (“Bowser” in the English versions)
Me: He is? Is he Mario’s brother too?
Same boy: No, he’s Mario’s father.
Other boy: He’s not!
Girl: Maybe an uncle?
Boy: Mini-Koopa is Koopa’s son.
Me: Anyway, back to Mario and Luigi. What was the word I want you to remember?
Boy: Oni-chan (the Japanese word for “older brother”)
Me: In English it’s “Older Brother”. Who is older, Mario or Luigi?
Me: Luigi? Why?
Girl: He’s taller.
I can’t argue with that logic. However I am a bit troubled by some of these revelations. According to my students, I learned the following:
1. Mini Koopa is Mario’s brother, stepbrother or cousin.
2. The height of someone is directly proportional to how old they are.
3. Mario’s father (or uncle) often kidnaps his own daughter (or niece).
4. It is up to Mario to constantly defeat his father (or uncle) to win the love of his sister.
5. Mario is possibly romantically involved with his sister.
6. Mario has an evil brother.
7. No one knows who Waluigi is, but he hangs out with the family at most parties.
And they say Nintendo games are kiddy. Sounds pretty mature to me.