Children obsess over dinosaurs; it’s a thing. They also love the solar system, dolphins and/or whales, mythology… the sorts of magic stuff that a) are taught in school, b) instill the same sense of wonder as fantasy and play-pretend, and c) have a wealth of questions, media, and merchandise available to fuel their obsession.
Asperger’s girls are especially vulnerable to obsession, which is why I was over the top about one dinosaur in particular: Yoshi. To be real, I’m still over the top about Yoshi, but it’s not as bad as it was in youth, when my workspace was covered in Yoshi toys. Today I display lots of Yoshi plushies in the guest room, and my Yoshi’s Story games are also scattered across our duplex, not to mention the Yoshi decals Chase bought for my car.
So the Mario Bros. franchise expertly tapped into the dinosaur-loving kids à la Yoshi, and I’m into it.
But why Yoshi? What made him inspirational, versus, say, The Land Before Time’s cast of dinosaurs? Heck, why not koopas and/or Bowser?—they’re prehistoric enough.
But they aren’t helpers, and here-in lies an interesting foreshadow to my future choices in heroes: I always love the side kicks. Support roles. The wise man, goddess, and magic item the hero receives on his quest. While I could do with a little less of the hero, I want to see the story’s helper shine. I similarly fell in love with Arlo in The Good Dinosaur because he also had the helper in him (even if he played the main character in many ways).
In a future update to my inspirational stories, I plan to blog about World of Warcraft, Azeroth, and how my priest avatar brought out the helper in me. But I didn’t think I should go on that journey until I’d established Yoshi as the first helper, my little dinosaur love.
This post was inspired by the upcoming Mario Bros. makeup line. After reading the article, I thought about how long Mario Bros. had affected my life…and my memory led me to Yoshi. 🙂