Gamification of Design: Super Mario Maker Critique | Castle Couch

Nintendo has the done all the legwork to make sure you’re primed to use —or play— with its software. So prepared even, that it knows the mistake you are about to make. The first mistake everyone makes when they go to design something as a kid: mix absolutely everything you can together to see how cool it will be (which doesn’t work if you’re still curious). And that’s maybe where Super Mario Maker is at its most brilliant; it’s fast. In minutes, you’ll be able to test your ‘everything but the kitchen sink design’ and immediately recognize how flawed it is. So you start from scratch. You learn, you design, you iterate. And it’s never confusing, never daunting or overwhelming. It’s a sophisticated software designed for a tablet, and it lets you make levels in the engine of Super Mario Bros. (1985), Super Mario Bros. 3 (1988), Super Mario World (1990), and Super Mario Bros. U (2012). Like Lego Mindstorms or EV3, Super Mario Maker is a powerful resource to put in someone’s hands. It gives you the keys to the kingdom, shows you around, and most importantly puts your creativity at the center of the process.

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