When I was little, my sister and I would always play Mario games. Super Mario World, Mario Kart, and the sort. She was the type to tease, joke, and even bully me, her little brother. Now, my sister is 2 years older than me. And whether the older sibling was older by just a year, 2 years, 5 years, or 10 years, 95% of the time they got to be Player 1. And in old school multiplayer Mario games, if you were Player 2, you were usually Luigi.
As years went by, the amount of times I was P1 when my sister and I would play could be counted on one hand. As my sister played less and less, it got me more excited that I would finally be able to be P1 on a regular basis. But when I was, I always found myself choosing Luigi over Mario. But I never knew why. It racked my brain for years, and I’ve even had a few joking conversations with my friends about it, trying to figure it out. But just recently, it dawned on me.
Luigi is a symbol, He’s a symbol for all little brothers and sisters. I’d even go so far as to say he was an idol. But why? Now granted him and Mario are known to be fraternal twins, he’s also known to be slightly younger. He’s been living in the shadow of his brother ever since he was introduced in the early 80s. He’s always been the P2 character, farther back on the game cover designs, and is seen much less than his older brother in the games. But when he’s there, and it’s his turn to shine, he does a damn good job of it.
He’s a symbol of perseverance. He shows that even though you may be younger, and things may be harder for you, you can always have the same end result as your older siblings. If you prove yourself, you’ll find yourself on a good path.
He’s a symbol of humility. You can’t go out there and try to be the center of attention 100% of the time. A lot of times the work you do goes unnoticed, but you can’t let that phase you on your journey. The work you put in to things you care about will not go unrewarded.
And he’s a symbol of humor. You can be seen as a weirdo, a nut, or a goofball. But as long as you’re having fun, who cares? Luigi is strange, goofy, and unique, and he’s himself 24/7.
I’ve always wondered why Luigi’s been my favorite character all these years. But it’s because he’s something that shows what all younger siblings are, and are capable of. People say “nothing good comes from video games. Everything is unrealistic.” But if you take the time to actually look and see what is happening on the screen, maybe you’ll finally understand things from a gamer’s perspective.
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