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You're all doubtless familiar with the recent Modern Warfare 3 trailer debut during the NBA Western Conference Finals. However, that wasn't the only crossover this week between videogame culture and a prestigious sporting event. As we're all championship figure-skating aficionados here, let's not pretend you didn't all see the silver medal-winning Russian performance: a gender-bending Super Mario pastiche. You've probably watched this thing to death already, but can’t we take just one more look? Together?
The story of the piece – for figure-skating is a strongly narrative art, just like ballet or the JRPG – seems to go like this: Revenge of the Nerds has a bootleg videogame console of some sort on which he enjoys a knock-off version of Super Mario Bros (possibly The Great Giana Sisters). An unexplained technological contrivance (similar to the movie eXistenZ, or the cartoon Captain N: The Game Master) sees him transported into the game, at which point he discovers that Mario is really a beautiful woman, so he becomes a palette-switched version of Luigi to help her on her quest. The seductress posing as Mario now takes his place in the real world, and he dies in-game, a poignant and tragicomic metaphor for technological addiction.
Or, TL:DR: in Soviet Russia, videogame plays you!
May 25, 2011
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