Mario Kart is based off of the original game series Super Mario. There are so many different Mario series but for this blog we will be focusing on the MarioKart series. Mario Kart is a go-kart style racing game series where players can choose a character from the Super Mario World and race through different races in order to unlock the much harder levels.
You might be thinking – Mario Kart, negative female perceptions, really? You would be right – the two don’t really mix however, after spending some time on the web – I have discovered a few examples of how Mario Kart could actually be portraying female characters negatively.
First, a little bit about Mario Kart itself. Released on Nintendo consoles only – Mario Kart has been a huge franchise branching out from the original Super Mario Bros. franchise. It is essentially a racing game where players can choose characters from the Super Mario Bros. franchise to race round tracks. Seems easy right? As you race round the track, there are a few tricky obstacles that can get into your way such as the red shells, banana peels or the dreaded first place hitter blue shell.
The target audience of Mario Kart would be of a younger generation and families. It is a family game with the use of local multiplayer and it is really fun to play with other people. The mechanics of the game are also easy for the little ones to come play too so fun for all the family. Both genders tend to play Mario Kart and quite a few females play the game too.
The public’s perception of Mario Kart is overall very good. Many families play Mario Kart and enjoy it without having the negative perceptions of characters revealed infront of children. However, after some research there is some evidence to suggest that Mario Kart does have negative perceptions of the female characters within the game. Some people have suggested that if they choose the famous character Princess Peach that she rarely comes first in any race despite any way that they place whereas 9 out of 10 times a male character wins.
Others have mentioned that the way that Princess Peach is dressed is stereotypically feminine with her pink dress, blonde hair and pink high heel shoes. On the other hand, others have said that it is to show differentiation between male and female genders within the game. In response to this though, with the recent light of different genders within society and the acceptance of the way people portray themselves in public – should Nintendo switch it up and make adaptations within their video game to show that just because Peach is a Princess she doesn’t have to be shown in a pink dress with pink shoes all the time? Or should Nintendo keep it original with the standard Princess Peach classic look?
In my personal opinion, I feel that Mario Kart is not portraying females in a negative way. I feel because the Mario franchise has been going on for so long, they have decided to keep it as original as possible as it works for the Nintendo company. Yes, I feel Princess Peach could have different outfits which portrays her in a different way such as “punkier” Princess Peach would be awesome to have. I feel it would show different variations of her character and adds personality to her.