“F@$% You!” The Friendship Ruining Power of Mario Party

Picture this: It’s Friday night. You’re hanging out with your friends and you are all super bored. You throw around suggestions for different activities you could do together, when it happens: Somebody suggests that you play Mario Party. You hear a collective “NOOOOO” from around the room, but for some reason, you decide to play anyway. You know what you’re getting yourself into, because you’ve been here many times before, but through all the collective screaming matches, and middle fingers, you can’t say no to a rousing game of Mario Party with your friends. What is it that draws people to a game that they know will inevitably ruin friendships and raise stress levels? Do they get a certain enjoyment out of such torment, or at the end of the day, is it just a way to get out any rage towards their friends? These are the questions that surround not just Mario Party, but other popular multiplayers as well, such as Mario Kart or Super Smash Bros.




The Friendship Destroyer Returns! (Mario Party 4: The Derp Crew- Part 1)

This video features a group of friends playing Mario Party 4. You can see their frustration levels increase as the game goes on.

Mario Party has been around since 1998, and remains a popular multiplayer game today. It has been able to move through the different generations of Nintendo consoles successfully, and inspire a new generation of players with each release. Nintendo recently released its latest incarnation of the game, titled Mario Party 10, which features most of the original mechanics with some new additions to accommodate the newer generation. Since its release in 1998, groups of all sorts of people have come together to play it, whether it is family, friends, or even strangers in a tournament setting.( http://challonge.com/psumarioparty5) While the game can be very fun, it can also be immensely frustrating. One could even say that it can cause rifts in friendships, due to the ultra-competitive nature of the game. What is so frustrating about the game you ask? Well, simply put, the game has unfair, and sometimes cruel tendencies that are magnified when a group of competitive players come together. Players are never 100% sure that they will come out on top, even if it seems like there is no possible way they could lose. This adds a certain amount of suspense and stress, seeing as it is anyone’s game, and you never know what to expect. This is where the fortune space comes in. The fortune space has the power to completely shift the inventories of the players, meaning the player who has 10 stars, and the player who has none can swap everything they have, leading to a vocal outburst from the player giving their victory away. After the yelling and tears, all goes quiet, until the next angry outburst from a shafted player.


Now why is it that people continue to play Mario Party, and other games like it, even when they know a screaming match is likely to ensue? Well, it is likely that people get a certain enjoyment out of letting all of their anger out on their fellow players. What other time can you yell at your friends just for the sake of yelling? It’s a major stress reliever believe it or not, to be able to just let it all out. Plus, at the end of the day, the game is quite fun, and it gives people a chance to be social gamers, rather than solitary gamers. It may ruin friendships during play, but afterwards, everything will hopefully return to normal, and friends can laugh about the experience they just shared together.


  6 comments for ““F@$% You!” The Friendship Ruining Power of Mario Party

  1. April 2, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    I’ve played a lot of Mario Kart with my friends, but I’ve never considered it to be something that ruins friendships. In fact, I often see it as my friends & I against the other characters we’re racing against even though my friends and I are also trying to beat each other. Most of our frustration and swearing ends up directed at Princess Peach and Toad or a banana that we’ve hit. Likewise, I’ve never felt more stressed after playing the game; often the game has become what my friends gather to play when we’ve had a stressful week and we need a way to vent without doing so directly at the stressor, which could be a professor, parent, or significant other. Even if it is a competitive game and there’s friendly competition, I’ve always felt that it brings a greater sense of camaraderie with my friends than anything detrimental, even if only momentarily. Or maybe I’m just not a very competitive player!

  2. Kayleigh B
    April 3, 2015 at 9:48 am

    I love playing Mario Kart with friends over playing it on my own because having a physical person to engage and compete with feels much more fulfilling than competing with a computer. While the multiplayer games of Mario Party and Mario Kart have the capability of causing temporary outbursts brought about by unfortunate happenstance in the game, a simple mistake made by the player, or the players purposefully targeting each other to better their chances of winning, this negativity is short lived and usually dissipates after the game ends. That’s the nice part about playing multiplayer games with friends; the competitive nature of the game can bring friends closer together through stories told about the gaming experience after the game is complete or friendly rematches to attempt to surpass the past winner or to keep your winning streak going.

  3. jdesteph
    April 3, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    I was drawn to this article because as someone that plays Mario Party, Mario Kart, and Super Smash Bros. with friends all the time, I’ve yet to have it ruin a friendship. I think you raise a good point on how these games are competitive, but your argument that they ruin friendships isn’t really valid. I’m competitive and so are my friends, but we all know that it’s just a game.

  4. stevenf
    April 3, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    This is an interesting article, but I am not sure whether people take multiplayer games to this type of intensity, particularly when playing a game such as Mario. I have had many a night like this with my friends, and in the many years of playing multiplayer games with other people present, I have seen maybe 1 or 2 fights, which were quickly resolved, and most certainly did not have the potential to ruin the friendships of anyone present. Now, I am sure there are some avid gamers who have friends with a similar level of intensity which could have the potential of creating such outlandish scenarios, but for the average person hanging out on a Friday night playing a game, I don’t think things would go that far. I have always found Mario to be a relaxing, fun game that was played with a good attitude by all involved.

  5. mbolters
    April 15, 2015 at 10:04 pm

    I love this game and always will. I’m definitely one of those people who gets competitive and yells but in a more sarcastic tone. The idea that it ruins friendships is funny to me because the line “F*^% YOU! You’re not my friend anymore!” has been thrown around so many times during this game it’s become almost a tradition. Another game that always seems to lead to the same interactions is Monopoly. I can’t imagine a monopoly game without its rage quits and money and property throwing. The games draw out the competitive nature buried within to create dramatic and sometimes hilarious experiences. With that being said, I feel that there is easily many times play the game without the chance of the competitive rage releasing itself between friends. I’ve learned that there are some people that simply don’t get over involved in games and just sit calmly through till the end. In my opinion, this is less fun and defeats the point f the game to encourage competitivity, but it still nonetheless happens.

  6. Aspen
    April 16, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    “…the game has unfair, and sometimes cruel tendencies that are magnified when a group of competitive players come together.” I think this is super true, and a great point to bring up in the context of your article. Mario Party really does have these unfair, chance occurrences in the game. Rolling a three over and over while other friends get tens and land on stars. At times, it doesn’t matter how good you are at the mini games if you keep rolling unlucky rolls and such. I also like this idea of ruining friendships, but I hope you are using it as a hyperbole. I say that because the game doesn’t really ruin friendships, or at least not in my experience, instead it hosts frustration and allows an even playing field for people who aren’t the best at videogames and actually can create more of a community. Who wants to play a game with someone who always monopolizes every game and comes out on top? This game just allows for an equal playing field, even if it does seem unfair to some of the better players who feel like they ‘deserve’ to win.

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