[This article has been pulled from the Ragdoll Farcists depository and given new life.]

“Look…we here at Nintendo are known for innovating the gaming industry. We’re constantly redefining what console and handheld gamers expect from a new system. The Wii U will be no different. In fact, as I speak we are developing a launch title for the Wii U that targets a specific kind of gamer, a type of gamer we feel has been neglected since the inception of interactive video entertainment: the politician.”

These are Reggie Fils-Aime’s words as he takes stage at the 2011 Tokyo Game Show. Eager to hear more, I and dozens of other gaming journalists slide to the edge of our seats to glean more about Nintendo’s next project.

“Look…Nintendo has given you touch gaming. We’ve delivered you motion gaming. We’ve handed you 3D gaming. And now, for the first time ever, we present to you what we’re calling: governmental gaming. And we’re doing it with an upcoming title called Mario and Sonic at the United States Presidential Debates 2012.”


Everyone seems to simultaneously gasp. After the initial shock, thunder erupts around me in the form of applause. I grip the wrist of the journalist next to me in an attempt to maintain control over my bladder. The stranger looks at me and smiles; he understands exactly what I’m going through. Together we share a moment more intimate than trying on your sister’s underwear for the very first time. Once the crowd finally settles, Reggie continues:

“With the help of Team Bondi, the developers behind the hit L.A. Noire, Nintendo and Sega are setting out to create the most realistic facial expressions yet. And you’ll only find them on the Wii and Wii U. But that’s not all. We’ve also brought back an accessory you haven’t seen since E3 2009: the Vitality Sensor. And we’ve added a mic to it.”

For me, that’s all it takes: my bladder is all but lost. Just when I think I’ve got it under control, my new pal sitting next to me taps my shoulder and points to his crotch. A dark, somewhat round blot there calls to me. It says: “It’s okay, man. Let it go,” and I obey. Perched in the warm dampness of my own stench, slightly ashamed, I listen to Reggie as he feeds me more of his delicious regurgitation as if I’m but a tiny pigeon, and he is my mother-bird.

“What we’re striving to do with Mario and Sonic at the United States Presidential Debates 2012 is create a game that can be shared and played with everyone from your jobless, liberal, tree-hugging cousin, to your antiquated, partially racist right-wing grandparents. What I’d like to do now is give you a brief glimpse of what’s to come. Look…here to help me show off the latest Mario adventure is the creator of Mario himself, Mr. Shigeru Miyamoto.”

At this point Miyamoto (a.k.a. the cutest little man in the world) struts out onto stage with a pelvic blemish all his own and effortlessly exclaims: “You ain’t cool, unless you pee your pants,” quoting of course a line from Billy Madison. It’s now I come to realize Miyamoto is officially the coolest person that’s ever lived. Within the bowels of his wisdom, he knew these announcements would cause Nintendo’s biggest fans to uncontrollably spray with excitement, and he came prepared to make it known that it’s okay. It’s okay that I have urine warming my thighs and cupping my buttocks. In fact, it’s more than okay—it is celebrated.

Debates box art

Reggie greets Miyamoto and hands him a Wii controller with the connected Vitality Sensor. The two of them plug their fingers into the accessory and take their places at a designated area on the stage, facing each other while standing behind separate podiums. The demo plays out as such:

The game fades in on a large screen behind Reggie and Miyamoto, loading directly into gameplay, bypassing any menus or character selection that may occur prior. On screen, Mario and Sonic are facing each other in much the same way Reggie and Miyamoto are here in front of me: on a raised platform, poised behind a couple of podiums. Suddenly Toad’s girlishly guttural nails-on-a-chalkboard-like voice yells “Sonic, start!” Miyamoto, acting as the voice of Sonic, begins talking into the mic on the Vitality Sensor, and his words are transferred into the game.

To start off the debate, Sonic questions Mario on what’s quickly becoming a taboo subject: “Tell us, Mario, if you’ll finally admit that sending the Toads into the Koopahari Desert in search of a ‘hidden Warp Whistle’ was a mistake. The animals of Green Hill Zone deserve to know if their president will take responsibility for his errors. Thousands of Mushroom People were squished under your command.”

Reggie, playing as Mario running for reelection, speaks his reply. In game, his response is presented in Mario’s language. “If I’ve-ah told you once-eh, I’ve-ah told you millions of-ah times-eh: the Princess had-eh the intel from a reliable source-eh that the Warp Whistle existed. It was the quickest way-ah to-eh Bowser!”

“Oh spare us, Mario, from your false concerns. Wasn’t it you who hung up the ‘Course Clear’ banner on the World 2 airship before even defeating Morton Koopa Jr.? And now you expect us to believe that you were so anxious to capture Bowser? I suppose it’s all a coincidence that you sent the Toads in to occupy the Koopahari Desert for this supposed Warp Whistle, yet you just so happen to milk the land of all its green mushrooms and Tanooki Suits while you’re there.”

Before Reggie has a chance to explain, Toad interrupts with “Round over!” And after a short pause: “Mario, start!”

Mario commences his assault: “O-ah kay-eh, you-ah blue-eh pincushion. Let’s-ah talk about-eh your relationship with-ah Dr. Robotnik-eh.”

“That’s in the past,” Miyamoto counters. The Vitality Sensor has picked up his increased heart rate, and as a result you can see the bump in Sonic’s chest speed slightly. There is even a nervous sweat flowing from the hedgehog’s pores. “Sure, I aided Ivo in collecting some rings to help fund his film showing the danger of climate change. How was I to know he’d instead use the rings to construct his Eggman Empire? I was young, dumb, and rooming with my step-brother Chronic the Hemphog at the time. I was basically living on a constant contact high, but I swear I never inhaled.”

Mario then fires at the alleged sexual harassment charge filed by Miles “Tails” Prower against Sonic in 1991, to which Sonic replies: “I still fail to see what the big deal was: neither one of us were wearing pants. Besides, not only did we settle that issue out of court for an undisclosed sum, but I also let that little hypocrite co-star in Sonic 2 the very next year. Damn fox still gets more attention than he deserves.”

“Round over!” Toad screeches, and with that our preview of Mario and Sonic at the United States Presidential Debates 2012 is finished. I glance around at the other journalists that surround me with a tear in my eye, and I see there’s a tear on the threshold of theirs as well. It’s a silent reminder of why we’re all here, reporting on our favorite name in gaming, standing around in the slop that is each other’s smelly, fanboy excretion.

Because it’s beautiful.

Reggie feed

Billy Slowmeat

Billy Slowmeat

Billy is the video game journalist of our generation. For Billy, there is no lead too tough to follow…no story too daunting to expose. Billy lives to do one thing: report. Hell, the son of a bitch gets off on it.
Billy Slowmeat