New PBS Digital show Space Time! asks what planet Super Mario World takes place on

Nothing in our solar system

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I always enjoy PBS Digital’s Game/Show as a source for smart commentary on the culture surrounding games. The whole videogame thing must be good for views, because the first episode of newest show Space Time! is all about Mario’s jump height in Super Mario World. The series is meant to focus on astrophysics in general, but what better way to get people watching at square one than to tap into one of the biggest cultural icons of the past few decades? It worked to get it on the front page of Destructoid, at least.

In the episode, astrophysicist Gabe Perez-Giz discusses the calculations involved in going from measurements of Mario’s jump pattern to finding the acceleration due to gravity (denoted as lowercase g) on the planet. It turns out that in Super Mario World, g is about eight times that on Earth, and Mario can only jump to the enormous heights that he does as a result of his incredible alien leg strength.

But then, if Super Mario World takes place on a fictional exoplanet, why does he (kind of) speak English? Checkmate, Atheists.


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Author
Darren Nakamura
Darren is a scientist during the day. He has been a Destructoid community member since 2006, joining the front page as a contributor in 2011. While he enjoys shooters, RPGs, platformers, strategy, and rhythm games, he takes particular interest in independent games. He produced the Zero Cool Podcast for about four years, and he plays board games quite a bit when he can find willing companions.