The continuous development of video games has kept me on my toes and away from schoolwork since the first day of Freshman Orientation in 2006. It’s no secret that games for new platforms provide the same distraction to the majority of the students at schools like UR (if it’s RIT, ‘World of Warcraft” is the only acceptable pastime).

However, there really is only one classic bonding game for college students of any age. That game is ‘Mario Kart” for Nintendo 64. Males and females, tall people and short people, engineering students and philosophy majors all connect over this awesome racing adventure. There’s nothing like living vicariously through a plumber’s fantasy of racing go-carts.

It has come to my attention, though, that there are widespread arguments over which characters to use. This article will put an end to such discussion. Here are the use and use-nots of ‘Mario Kart 64″:

Use Luigi; use-not Mario: Of course, I have to start out with the plumbers themselves. Luigi is pretty pimp I’ve even heard that people who use Luigi have a 74 percent higher attraction rating than those who use Mario. Mario, on the other hand, sounds really dumb.
Women are initially intrigued by his ridiculous moustache (and because he’s a high-profile celebrity), but once he opens his mouth, the date’s over. Luigi also has a sweet green outfit; Mario’s is red. Green is the color of my eyes: green is better than red. Luigi trumps Mario.

Use Toad; use-not Princess Peach: This was a tough one. On one hand, Princess Peach is moderately attractive, but she always lets herself get kidnapped by Bowser, so she’s clearly not very intelligent. On the other hand, I truly sympathize with Toad (he was picked on when he was in middle school).

Toad is usually my backup character. It’s altogether possible that I relate to him on some level (I’ve been called short once or twice), but I think it’s more likely that he’s just really freaking fast.

I think what I’m really trying to say here is that Princess Peach is ‘Mario Kart”‘s rough equivalent to a one-night stand, while Toad is someone you can have a relationship with.

On an unrelated note, I’m almost positive that Princess Peach is just in the game so that girls under 13 have a character to play as.

Use Bowser; use-not Wario: This one really came down to the fact that I hate Wario. First of all, he’s a convicted pedophile, and that’s just disgusting. He also doesn’t shower, he chain-smokes and he has herpes (and it’s quite possible to contract herpes just from playing as him just ask Chad Ocho Cinco). Bowser is pretty badass anyway. He’s starred in a few motion pictures, all of which have over 60 percent on In other words, those people who prefer to use Wario ought to be shunned and, in some cases, banned from playing ‘Mario Kart 64″ in any setting, on any system, anywhere in the world.

Use Yoshi; use-not Donkey Kong: Yoshi is by far the best character in this game. This really just isn’t a fair comparison. Donkey Kong is like one of those washed-up actors you see doing Kodak commercials in between quarters of football games on CBS (Ashton Kutcher).

Yoshi, on the other hand, is a cross between Paris Hilton, Eddie Murphy, Andre the Giant and Alec Baldwin he has whorish tendencies, is really funny, had a relatively large part in one of my favorite movies (‘Princess Bride”) and gets to date all kinds of powerful women while slowly seducing Tina Fey.

I hope all you ‘Mario Kart” racers will keep this article in mind next time you take up a blue or gray N64 controller to give your friends a nice virtual kick in the tuchus. ‘Mario Kart” is more than just a game. It’s a chance to make new friendships, flirt with members of the opposite sex and rip your existing friends a new one when they’re having a bad race or when they use Wario.

Epstein is a member of the class of 2010.

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