- Over at 1UP last week (yes, I know, behind) they posted a fun feature called 'Aging Gracefully', in which Nadia Oxford explains: "If you interview adults who have played games since the Atari 2600 and then talk to children born after the N64's debut, there is a marked difference in how the generations view the videogame mascots they grew up with."

How so? Oxford takes Mario as an example: "With the NES boom came the inevitable merchandise and cartoons. Mario's animated adventures included the The Super Mario Bros. Super Show and later, The Adventures of Super Mario Bros 3. The cartoons were standard kiddy fare involving Mario and friends trying to bust up King Bowser's evil plans, but they're noteworthy for one particular reason: They gave Mario a voice, and oddly enough, a home in Brooklyn."

So what? "Although definitely Italian in ancestry (The Super Show made sure to supply a pasta joke every three minutes), he wasn't the hardcore stereotype he's become since we flicked on the power buttons of our N64s. He also wasn't the happy, chatty man he is now. The NES' hero was strong, silent, and almost mysterious." This is a fairly subtle and clever angle for a story (no 'Top 10 Gay Things' here), and I appreciate the careful thinking on how mascots evolve when technology gets in the way.