Is Mario a modern, marketable character?

Mario!Here’s an interesting and timely question posed by the Escapist today: How would Mario fare if he were introduced in 2007?

As everyone and their dog knows, today is the official launch of Super Mario Galaxy. It is the latest Mario adventure; the most far flung (literally, the dude is in SPACE); and it is perhaps one of the most important titles to grace any video game console in recent memory.

Even so, the Escapist gets all hypothetical on us: “Let’s assume Super Mario Galaxy would be the first Mario game on the market. There’d be questions, and lots of ’em, from the media and the public alike; the sort of questions you expect to be asked when a new property is in development. What’s with the overalls? Why the fascination with stars, coins? Where does he come from, and what is his reason for hopping around planets and kicking the crap out of this league of ne’er-do-wells? What’s with the exaggerated, cartoonish and stereotypical Italian accent? You got something against Italians? Wake thy lawyers, it’s on!”

It’s a fresh, interesting read on a timeless gaming icon. If you manage to put down the Wiimote today, even for a few minutes — perhaps on your way to relieve yourself in between Galaxy sessions — I suggest you use those few minutes to read up on Mario Mario.