Too much Mario?

An article over at ponders the over-saturation and abuse of Mario’s image. The article says that Mario has not only represented Nintendo for 20+ years, but also video games in general. Unfortunately we only see a true Mario title once per console cycle lately. This doesn’t stop Mario from making appearances elsewhere. From the article:

Mario’s appearance in EA’s SSX 3 [actually it was SSX on Tour] snowboarding title for the GameCube was, in my opinion, really crossing the line in terms of character abuse. Nintendo’s characters really didn’t belong in the game, which provides a very clear example of Nintendo throwing their characters into the game to make a quick buck.

Lately he seems more like someone who is famous just for being famous with no real display of his talents. In a time when shows like The Simple Life or My Fair Brady bring in a regular television audience, has Mario become a meta-celebrity?

[Thanks, John!]