Great Job, Internet!: Making the case for Super Mario Bros. as a surrealist masterpiece

Making the argument that a video game contains some surreal elements may seem like a no-brainer. After all, the majority of video games take place in worlds that look nothing like our own and give players abilities that have little connection to the “real.” But when it comes to the Super Mario Bros. franchise, surreal elements are pretty much all you’ve got. You play as an Italian plumber who punches bricks for coins, stomps on angry walking mushrooms, and occasionally dons a tanuki suit, all while trying to rescue a princess from a giant, fire-breathing turtle monster. It’s enough to make Dalí’s mustache curl.

In the latest video from the PBS Idea Channel, host Mike Rugnetta makes the case that Mario games not only contain aesthetic similarities to surrealism, but that the franchise may actually be the spiritual successor to the surrealist movement’s philosophy as a …

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