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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Slavery Is Not A Game: The Game!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Conflict mineral activism.

Back in the day, I actually researched conflict minerals. That research actually began with this list of electronics companies — notice how Nintendo is dead last. Here's the gist: These miners/rebels/lawless people over in Congo go around raping and pillaging people, and they fund their violence through so-called "conflict minerals", which are used to build electronics such as Nintendo systems. Now, there's really not much Nintendo can do to control the suppliers of their suppliers, but apparently other companies have taken steps to not use "conflict minerals" and to use the same minerals mined from other places. Still, there has been this campaign to actually boycott Nintendo products over this. Of course, this began when the Wii was smashing sales records, so obviously no one gave a crap about women being raped in Congo.

Well, the anti-Nintendo movement, spearheaded by has finally put their resources together and released a video and a flash game denouncing Nintendo. And unfortunately, they sided with age-old KoopaTV enemy, Mario. (With better acting and costumes than the Super Mario Brothers movie.)

Luigi knocking out some random kid with a Red Shell for 100 points is the level of videogame violence that would make Jack Thompson jealous. Anyway, the associated game is located here.

Mario is raising an army of people who believe that it's the White Man's Burden to rescue the people of Congo.

The actual game is... better than Ron Paul: The Road to REVOLution, if that means anything. It's a linear platformer where Mario is in what appears to be Nintendo HQ. The scenery is littered with office desks, but the levels are filled with Goombas in a pseudo-Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga graphical sprite style. Nintendo probably hired 'em out of affirmative action.

Bowser is a business executive at Nintendo. Or a security guard. No idea what happened to his hair.

If you check out the screenshot above, you'll notice Mario ditched his hat for some sort of visor. His hair actually looks pretty cool. Meanwhile, those little spikey things clearly have Fawful's trademark expression you see all over Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, but I think all of these are actually custom sprites. So whoever made this is a gamer.

Happily enough, the degree you hold on your ↑ key affects the height of your jump, like real platformers. Unfortunately, hitting the jump button at the point of impact of jumping off an enemy doesn't extend your rebound jump height. In fact, that height is VERY small. There is one instance where there are three Goombas in a row. You do not get bonus points for murdering all of them without touching the ground like you would in a real platformer.

Speaking of scoring, unlike Super Mario Bros. and its sequels, there is no timer that counts down. There is a timer that counts up, though. No idea if your clear time affects your score. Unfortunately, I never beat the game because the game keeps freezing at level three! (There are apparently four levels.) So who knows if Bowser is a major Nintendo executive or not.

Stars give 10 points. But yeah this is the kill screen, post-freeze. Just going through the level AND BAM.

Another thing that nearly makes the game unplayable is that periodically, there is an activist pop-up. It's almost like the conflict mineral activists realized the game has nothing to do with saving people in Congo, so they create external pop-ups. This distracts and takes the control away from the player until they X-out the pop-up. And it doesn't count as a pop-up or advertisement for ad-blocking purposes.

What the hell is "Twibbon"?

According to the game's literature, hundreds of thousands of people have chimed in speaking out against Nintendo. Perhaps that's why the Wii U isn't selling?

Knowing that Nintendo is indirectly funding conquests by warlords to enslave people, does this make YOU less likely to support them? Hey, maybe if Nintendo went software-only they could avoid this ethical issue! You don't see anyone going after Electronic Arts for this, right?

Ludwig wanted to write a whole research paper on this issue, but no one would read it on this blog. Speaking of opportunity, if you play this game and it doesn't freeze for you, comment on what the ending is like!

Ellen DeGeneres tries to make a skit featuring the brothers, too. It's nowhere near as good as this one.
It's not only conflict minerals... no, there are blood diamonds in Pokémon Rumble World!
This kind of slave labour benefitting the gaming industry isn't just in Africa, but also in China as well.


  1. Been wanting to contribute for a while, this seemed like a good opportunity since the game wasn't consistently crashing on me.

    1. You're amazing and I love you (non-romantically).

      And thank you very much for the views.



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