Mario Paint

racketboy has posted an inspiring personal reflection from Zen Albatross on how Mario Paint changed his life (emphasis added):

Little did I know that this 5.5″ cartridge (and the mouse peripheral that came with it) would essentially be the foundation of my creative career. Before Photoshop, before Paint, before I had ever even used a computer, Mario Paint became the very first time where my creativity and my love for video games came together in sweet, 16-bit harmony.

Unlike some other creativity-based games, Mario Paint did far more than give you a couple templates and leave you on your merry way – It encouraged you to be creative and make your own unique compositions. This proactive and encouraging attitude toward creative freedom is something that I find to be, for the most part, severely lacking in the games of today.

So what does the future hold for creativity-based games? To be perfectly honest, it’s hard to imagine Mario Paint making a comeback nowadays. Especially considering the evolving face of today’s games industry, where creativity is continually squelched in lieu of mainstream titles that easily generate mass-appeal. Still, games like LittleBigPlanet and Banjo Kazooie Nuts & Bolts both focus on a strong foundation of user-generated content, giving us hope that perhaps developers aren’t entirely opposed to the idea of putting the tools back into the hands of the consumer.

Amen!

Mario Paint: How The 16-bit Wonder Changed Lives