Mario Takes the Wheel on Google Maps


MarioThe iconic plumber and his cool go-cart will be guiding drivers using Google Maps. Nintendo and the technology giant have joined forces to celebrate National Mario Day, March 10th. The fun begins March 9, 2018, and continues for a week.

When iOS and Android users open Google Maps they will find a new icon next to the start button. It is a question mark in a yellow box. Choosing this option gives the user a pop-up box saying, “Oh yeah! Mario time!”

Verge reveals an Easter egg Google added to offer users more excitement. Apparently, if a person taps the question mark icon 100 times the 1-UP sound heard in Nintendo games will chime.

Fortunately, users will not encounter banana peels or red shells on their map. In fact, other than Mario joining the commute, the usual barriers in the game will not impede the driver’s progress.

Celebrate Mario Day

marioThe most obvious way to honor Mario on his day is to sit down with a controller in hand and jump from level to level. Or, introduce someone to Nintendo’s mustached overall-wearing plumber with one of more than 250 games in the Mario franchise.

However, there are other ways. A group of friends could meet for a Nintendo trivia match, or dress up as one of the characters and parade through town inviting others to join the fun celebration. How about making favorite sweets resembling parts of the game?

Here is a fun fact: Mario was first introduced in Donkey Kong in the early 1980s. Instead of being a plumber he was a carpenter named Mr. Jumpman.

Mario Not Google Map’s First Transformation

This is not the first time Google has customized their GPS system. In 2015, the position marker was transformed into an Imperial TIE fighter or a Rebel Alliance starfighter X-Wing to celebrate the opening of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

On March 31, 2017, Google Maps launched Ms. Pac-Man for April Fools Day. This allowed players to snag dots and avoid ghosts while tooling through town. Forbes reported the game opened in the center of the screen. Ms. Pac-Man could be played anywhere in the world.

As always, one can look forward to creative Google Doodles found on their search pages. These are changed regularly, sometimes they are GIFS and other times clicking on the Doodle will open a page with further information about why it was posted. For example, the one posted on March 9, is a graphic depicting various ways for differently abled people to participate in athletic competitions. Clicking on the image will open a page with information about the 2018 Winter Paralympics along with links for trending stories.

By Cathy Milne


Time and Date: MAR10 Fun Holiday – Mario Day
Days of the Year: 10th March, 2018 will be…Mario Day
The Verge: Mario invades Google Maps to help you avoid bananas while driving
Forbes: How To Play ‘Ms. Pac-Man’ On Google Maps Right Now

Featured Image Courtesy of Rakka’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
First Inset Image Courtesy of Cathy Milne – Used With Permission
Second Inset Image Courtesy Clever Cupcakes’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License


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