Thursday, May 15, 2008

I Need a Red Shell

If you heard someone say "I need a red shell" what do you think they'd be referring to?

Although there aren't any red ones here, you'd probably think of sea shells.

(Photo courtesy of the gorgeous beaches of Sanibel Island, Florida.)

Well, the red shell that I'm talking about looks more like this:

If you've ever played Nintendo, and any Mario game, then you recognize the red shell. I've already talked about how great I think the Wii is. Well, now that the newest version of MarioKart is out, Wii is even better.

When you play you are a Nintendo character (i.e. Mario, Luigi, Donkey Kong, etc.) driving a cart or a motorcycle (with names like the Super Blooper or Sugarscoot). The game comes with a small steering wheel that you put the Wii remote into. The race courses are places like castles, the jungle, a gold mine, and lots of other places from other Mario games. So obviously it doesn't seem "realistic" when you play.

Yet for some reason, after playing the game for a couple of weeks, it sort of changes the way you feel when you are driving your own car. I first realized this when I was a passenger and my husband was driving and muttered under his breath "I need a red shell" in response to the heavy traffic we were in on the highway. (A red shell is an item you pick up while racing that you can hurl at people in front of you. It hits them and knocks them into the air, allowing you to gain on them.) A few days later I found myself in similar traffic, and I honestly had the same thought cross my mind--if I just had a red shell, I could knock this annoying minivan in front of me out of the way.

I've seen recent news stories about concerns over video games being too realistic. The premise is that playing violent video games leads to aggressive and violent behavior in children. I wonder if playing MarioKart could be linked to incidents of road rage in adults?


Corrina said...

I LOVE Super Mario Kart! Although I play it on my DS and PS2. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have the red shells that rotate around your cart on your actual vehicle and just fire them off at will?? That's a great idea!

Susan said...

Corrina, the best thing about it on the Wii is that you have an actual steering wheel to hold while you play. It's very addictive.
And yes, the rotating red shells are definitely the item I'd want in real life. Those or maybe the mushroom that makes you GIGANTIC so that you flatten everyone in your way.

Corrina said...

OMG! LOL I forgot about the magic mushrooms! Yes, that would be fab-u-lous.