Yes, this guy saves the world and, maybe, even teaches us how to save our own.
Nintendo is a master at making family friendly software. It’s their specialty and their flagship series and mascot, Super Mario, is no exception. The developer crafted the stubby plumber's titles as lessons in the art of pro-social behavior. Mario is our teacher; the journey to save the princess a primer in helping others.
Subtly, Mario’s creators have tugged at our soft sides. They made a game where you must help others to complete the adventure. But the task doesn’t feel forced. Instead, you will want to help out the animal characters in the various worlds you explore.
For me, one of the most memorable displays of pro-social behavior occurred in Super Mario 64. The level, Cool, Cool Mountain, tasks our hero with reuniting a lost penguin with its mother. The parent is overjoyed that Mario found her sweet child. You can’t but feel touched by such a saintly action.
Mario’s personality rubs off on you. He is an unlikely savior with a big heart that has grown even more over the years. In each title, the plumber is finding a lost friend or item for a non-player character; helping them destroy boxes; or feeding Hungry Lumas star bits. He is just an overall good guy and he teaches us a lot about how to act as a good human being.
One of the reasons Mario is more than a titular mascot of the industry is because he is a positive character. People love those who help others. They worship heroes even more. Mario has both of these characteristics. He is a swell guy for this matter.
Acting pro-socially is something in the very fabric of our beings and I am glad we have a star in the industry who is a pro at doing so. So go ahead Mario, keep rubbing your personality off on us. In turn, we will go out there and aid our neighbors.