I don’t necessarily think it would be a bad idea to raise awareness about the environment, but I doubt it would be taken seriously or that very many people would play it. People tend not to be interested in entertainment they see as political, and especially not preachy. I can’t think of a way a video game (at least not one like Mario, a more-story based game could deal with environmental issues effectively as part of a larger plot) could straightforwardly tackle environmental issues that wasn’t fairly simplistic and heavy-handed.
I think it would be interesting to have an environmentally tinged Mario game without it being overt. Especially with the Nintendo Wii, Nintendo’s games have started to gear themselves to a younger audience and they can make things a little more playful. If some of the tasks had Mario saving the kingdom from Bowser or someone trying to destroy the land of the kingdom, there are ways that the story line could interweave with the environment. Nintendo certainly has no obligation to make it about the environment and they will do whatever they think will make the most money.
An environmental friendly Mario would be an interesting concept. The game could be based around fighting pollution and cleaning up the world. If a video game could become popular while teaching kids about environmental issues at the same time, I think the environment might see some positive impacts.
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