Nintendo Trapped Mario In JFK Airport For ‘Switch On The Go’ Initiative

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Over the weekend, a lucky few JetBlue fliers were treated to a pleasant surprise as they entered Terminal 5 in New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport: a photo op with none other than Nintendo’s (and gaming’s) leading man, Mario.

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As part of an initiative called “Nintendo Switch On the Go,” Nintendo has taken over a tiny slice of Terminal 5 at JFK and retrofitted it into a small gaming haven dedicated to all things Mario and Nintendo Switch. Families were apparently invited to the hub, which seems to have taken over one of the terminal’s public lounge areas, and were welcome to take pictures with a person dressed up as Mario. It even appears like some of the children who stopped by the pop-up were offered Mario’s iconic red cap to keep, or at the very least to wear for the photo op.

The airport pop-up also had a number of Switches available for the families and their children to sample some Nintendo titles. Per the pictures provided by Nintendo, the games included Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, which rank among the system’s top-selling games of all time. A sign in front of one of the children also lists Mario Party Superstars and Captain Toad’s Treasure Tracker, as well as more recent titles like Super Mario Bros. Wonder, the Mario Vs. Donkey Kong remake, and even Princess Peach: Showtime!

The pop-up at Terminal 5 will be there till April 20, so if you’re flying out of or into New York anytime soon, see if you can’t stop by and get in on the fun. At the very least, drop in and charge your Switch there, which is another service they’re apparently offering.

The first I heard of this pop-up was via a tweet from the Game Awards account, with Nintendo actually being surprisingly mum on the matter. The name of the initiative, “Nintendo Switch On the Go,” seems to suggest that the show is going to be taken on the road though, so I wouldn’t be too surprised if we see a similar set-up start popping up in major cities around the country, and eventually the world. It may be the priciest and stupidest way to get my hands on Princess Peach Showtime! but I’m not above heading to JFK purely for the bit of playing this under-advertised game.

Most importantly, though: Does Mario live there now? My colleague in shitposting, Zack Zwiezen, pointed out that this could be a situation like the 2004 comedy The Terminal, in which Tom Hanks plays a European who’s denied entry into the U.S., but also can’t return home. Is the Mushroom Kingdom in the middle of a military coup? In that movie, Hanks’ character survives by eating cheap fast food, which leaves me to wonder what Mario thinks of our modern offerings. Surely, they’re no growth-spurt-inducing mushrooms, but Shake Shack does have mushroom burgers on offer. I could see Mario pivoting to a career as a food influencer if he runs out of things to do while he’s trapped there. You get that bag, bestie.

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