Regarding Mario: A Memoir

After the last piece I got published with Kill Screen magazine and my blog-wise writeup, I had a lot of pent-up emotional energy about my childhood and upbringing, and a lot of forlorn / angst / beautiful swirling around in my head. I spent the past two months trying to get it down on paper, and it came out in the form of a memoir that just went up on Kill Screen's site for Mario week.

I have easy memories of reclining on Dad’s back as he played belly-down on the floor, my legs hiked up on his shoulders, as I would broadcast every detail on-screen to him: every spiked shell or stray bullet. Sometimes I’d fall off to the side, so excited, and gesticulate wildly when he caught the top flag at the end of a level. Once we found the second warp gate, our play sessions became more intentional, more labored—like the point in early adolescence when sports turn serious. If we finished the game, we’d have more than bragging rights: we’d have achieved something together. We never beat the game, but we got damn close.

The piece itself was one of the harder things I've had to write. If I'm being honest, I spent most my two months "writing" it trying to not write it, afraid of what I might drag up. I was afraid of digging too deep, or asking too many hard questions. Because, you know, at the end of the day, the story is: I loved playing Mario with my dad when I was a kid. We played lots of video games. It was awesome. I will never forget those days I spent with him.


There's a lot more to it than that, but I'll leave it for you to read in the essay here.