GameSetWatch sister site GameCareerGuide has posted the results of its ‘Change Mario’s Career’ game design challenge, with readers conceptualizing alternative career paths for Nintendo’s famous plumber.

The best entries include Super Mario Thief, Mario: Stuck In Time and Super Mario Barber.

The introduction for the article outlines the results:

"Science teaches us that a crushed butterfly or an errant sports almanac can sharply skew the earth's timeline, resulting in an unpredictable and dire alternate future. But what would happen to the video games industry if Nintendo's mascot character, Mario, had chosen another career?

The world knows Mario as the star of Nintendo's flagship Super Mario Bros. franchise, which began with a pair of plumbers being sucked into a drain pipe that deposited them into the platform-filled Mushroom Kingdom.

Would Mario and Luigi have embarked on similar adventures if they had chosen a different line of work? What kind of fantasy world would await Mario if he was a taxicab driver, or an accountant, or a bartender?

In its latest Game Design Challenge, Game Career Guide tasked its readers with describing Super Mario Bros. or one of its sequels in an alternate past, in which Mario chose a different career path.

Many readers submitted entries that were similar in concept to Super Mario Bros., save for a few crucial differences. Others hypothesized that Mario's job change would result in the birth of an entirely different genre, taking the games industry in a new and unexpected direction.

What follows are the best and most original entries we received. Here are our top picks:

Best Entries
Stuart Lilford, University of Wolverhampton, Super Mario Thief

Stuart Lilford reimagines Donkey Kong as a stealth-based action-puzzler, then details the sequels and spinoffs that follow. The Super Mario Kart-inspired cops-and-robbers racer is particularly noteworthy, and would likely be very fun to play.

John Healy, Mario: Stuck In Time

Healy's entry puts Mario in the role of a watchmaker's son, and envisions Super Mario Bros. as a collection-based platformer. The many subtle changes noted in the Mario series' traditional structure and mechanics make for a compelling read.

Dean Ray Johnson, Super Mario Barber

In this entry, Dean Ray Johnson replaces the Mushroom Kingdom with a series of danger-filled heads of hair. In the process, Johnson effectively argues that a simple change in career may not have had much of an impact on Mario's first platforming adventure, at least in terms of gameplay.

Honorable Mentions
Loic Ramboanasolo, Universite de Montreal, Mario the Undertaker

Max Nikolaev, Mario the Magic Pimp
Daina Corey, Student at Westwood College Online, Super Mario Brothers: Urban Legends ."

Interested readers can now read the full story revealing the winners - and the site will be setting a new Game Design Challenge in the near future.