Mario Kart 8 – The Gateway Game

Bowser Mario Kart 8

It doesn’t get much more fierce than this!

It’s been a while since I’ve picked up a game at launch.  In fact, before Mario Kart 8, the last game I bought the day it released was Splinter Cell: Blacklist.  There’s something special about Mario Kart 8 though.  It has this universal appeal that seems to really bring in gamers of all kinds together.

For people who know my wife, you know that she does NOT like video games.  The fact that I even own a Wii U was kind of a struggle and a huge compromise on her part.  For her, growing up without video games was one of the best decisions her parents had made.  It’s pretty much the opposite for me.  Growing up WITH video games was(I feel) one of the best decisions my parents had made.  When I first got Mario Kart 8, I was trying desperately to organize a game with all my brothers.  Kind of hard when we’re all in different time zones and have family responsibilities and all.  The first few days I was only really able to connect with one brother or the other.  Maybe my wife felt bad for me, but she actually asked if she could play.  You have no idea how excited this made me.  “Sure!”  I replied and grabbed a controller for her.  We played a few races and it was a lot of fun!  Now every time she sees me playing Mario Kart 8, she asks to jump in for a game.  Now, she’s not the best at Mario Kart but, every once in a while…  She surprises me.

All is fair in love, war, and Mario Kart...

All is fair in love, war, and Mario Kart…

A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I went over to a friend’s house for dinner.  After we enjoyed a meal and laughed, telling stories and reminiscing  for a while, we moved into the living room.  “What do you guys feel like doing?”  The answer, Mario Kart 8.  Usually my lovely wife would sit out on any video game activity me and my friend would do.  Even if it was 4 players, it would usually just be my friend and I going through the levels while our wives talked about other things, glancing over at our progress from time to time.  This time however, she was right there next to me, controller in hand, and tossing shells and bananas along with us!  It was great!  Nintendo may be stubborn when it comes to online components of things and what not, but I think this is the first game that brought someone who hated video games into it’s glorious realm of fun!  Good job Nintendo, but seriously, let’s get caught up with those online features. 😉