Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Two guys recreated Mario Kart on the streets of New York City and it somehow didn't end in tragedy

Illustration for article titled Two guys recreated iMario Kart/i on the streets of New York City and it somehow didnt end in tragedy
Screenshot: Caleb Simpson

Real-life Mario Kart is such an intoxicating concept that it’s been done by both amateurs and professionals alike. Never before, at least to our knowledge, has the Nintendo racing game been recreated, guerilla-style, on the streets of New York City—probably because that concept seems destined to end in blood, broken bones, and, the great blue shell we call “fatal accidents.”

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Still, despite all common sense suggesting it’s not a good idea, YouTuber Caleb Simpson has recorded himself dressed up like Mario, flying down the streets of NYC in a city-wide go-kart race against a pal in a Luigi costume.

As the two zig and zag around town, onlookers give them a mix of reactions ranging from enthusiastic approval to bewilderment. At one point, Times Square cops try to figure out how to direct Mario’s go-kart traffic after previously barring him from entering. Mostly, though, the two get left alone, free to fulfill the dream of playing a real-life racing game across crowded city streets.

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As happy as we are for them, we can’t help but wish they’d gone a bit further with the concept. At one point, Irving Salazar, the guy in the Luigi costume, throws a half-eaten banana behind him and Simpson/Mario theatrically spins out.

Why not escalate? Surely, there are plenty of fresh squid for sale, just ready to be bought by them and whipped into one another’s faces. It’s New York City! If they’d wanted to, the two of them definitely could have found some empty turtle shells to dump beneath each other’s kart wheels. That’s the real-life Mario Kart we want to see.

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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.

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