Why Brooklyn Makes More Sense as a Super Mario Brother's Game Why Brooklyn Makes More Sense as a Super Mario Brother's Game
Design

Why Brooklyn Makes More Sense as a Super Mario Brother's Game

by Ken Kocses

May 1, 2013


Everyone knows 90s era Nintendo games—they’re the universal language of Millenials (sorry, other generations…here’s your chance to learn up though!). I always really liked the overworld maps from Mario and Zelda. There's something about the bird’s eye view that’s like being in a helicopter over a city, being able to see all the parts and pieces fit together, and especially those palm trees dancing to the beat. But unlike real life, if you looked at a Mario map, you would see there’s no perspective point. The picture is essentially a flat, 3D illusion: ‘Isometric projection’ is a term the math peeps might use.

Did you know that everyone has their own, personal Super Mario map? No, it’s true—you just have to know where to find it! It's like Neverland, try thinking happy thoughts.

I chose the neighborhood of Bushwick because this is where I’ve experienced a lot of fun and adventure. The area lends itself to it. There’s “Warehouse Land” (the streets west of Flushing), “Start Zone” (coming up from the L train at Bogart), “Carnival Path” (the cheap fun and glitz on Knickerbocker) and “Old Warp” (the century old, elevated JMZ Line). People like to make a big deal about gentrification, but the street fashions of young people in Bushwick, no matter if it’s locals or hipsters, are more universal than some might admit. Cool sunglasses are for everyone, man.


Some people ask me if I’ll ever make an actual game out of these maps. I’d like to, but the answer is no. Well, someone else can do it for me if they want, but I’m strictly a painter. Once the image is designed (using Photoshop), my job is the tedious application of colors. I’m talking a mind-numbing, 100 hours tedious! One must have the mentality of the Old Watchmaker. But when you’re guided by fuzzy dreams and memories, you slowly drift to the place you want to be.

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Why Brooklyn Makes More Sense as a Super Mario Brother's Game