A explosion of creativity has hit the Mushroom Kingdom. Nintendo’s latest Mario game is quite different from previous offerings, in that Mario Maker allows you to create, play, and share levels over the internet. In addition to the nostalgia factor of building familar worlds for 8 bit Mario, completely new challenges can be thought up for our plucky plumber.
Beginning with the original NES system we had when I was in Elementary school (Super Mario Brothers and 3), I can date the eras of my childhood with the various sequels: High school (World at my cousin’s house), College (Mario 64 on my Roommate’s system), and grad school (Sunshine on a second hand GameCube).
Although Mario mods have existed for many years, they required special software and skills. Now that Nintendo has provided a platform for the masses to create, ideas are proliferating and cross-pollinating like crazy. Perhaps the evolutionary experimentation of the Cambrian Explosion came from a similar breakthrough: build the platform, and new ideas will come.