What Does Your Chosen Mario Kart Character Say About You?

Has Mario or Yoshi reached a higher level on Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs?

Think twice before you click the B button.

Selecting a character to play in Mario Kart is a personal choice, but it's also a statement. Are you the big, burly dude who plays as Princess Peach? The bad kid who plays as Bowser? Whoever plays as Luigi?

If you show up to play in Thursday's Mario Kart 64 Tournament at the Ace Hotel, people will judge you. Before you reveal yourself to strangers, you should know what your character says about you. So WW interviewed to Dr. Karen Chenier, an actual therapist and Portland State University psychology professor.

In 45 minutes—that's about $80 in the therapist's office—she informed us about the psychology behind Mario Kart characters.

We focused on the eight classic characters from 1992's Super Mario Kart. Mario Kart 64 has the same characters, except Donkey Kong Jr. is swapped for Donkey Kong, and Koopa Troopa is replaced by Wario. The current version, Mario Kart 8 for Wii U, has 52 characters, enough to populate a dissertation. SOPHIA JUNE.


You're type A and probably have anxiety.

"He's the hero type. He's expressive; he's extroverted, definitely a type A guy, focused. He cooperates with others, but he's a leader. Even his colors, like red and blue, those are superhero colors. Those are power colors. With people who are type A, he'll need to manage that anxiety because he's really set up for a stress-related disorder."


You're shy and neurotic.

"Luigi is a little shy, good-natured, more introverted. Maybe even a little bit neurotic, nervous, self-conscious. He kind of wants to be reassured. He's prone to social anxiety or social phobia and anxious being around a group of people and having to socialize."

Princess Peach

You're all about the drama.

"She's a damsel in distress. She's open, very friendly, open-minded, kind, conscientious and feels the need to help helpless creatures. But she can defend herself when push comes to shove. She knows what she wants. She likes excitement, that adrenaline rush of being in danger, wanting to be rescued. I don't know if she puts herself in peril on purpose."


You're goofy and likable, but might get used.

"He likes other people; he's collaborative; he's creative with his powers, which are a little bit different. He's probably kind of funny. His look looks a little bit clumsy, so he's not stealthy like Mario. He has to befriend other people, and I think he does it by being creative and funny and enjoying others. You definitely want Yoshi at your party."


You're a narcissist.

"He's totally narcissistic and needs attention. He's mean, and he can just gobble up everything around and not feel satisfied. You can't really befriend him. Eventually he's going to leave. It's not for the long haul. Avoid him. He would never come into therapy. I don't think he would benefit from therapy; he's too narcissistic."

Donkey Kong Jr.

You've got emotional baggage.

"He's just totally destructive. He's got a big chip on his shoulder. He's aggressive and hostile and passive-aggressive and smart. I think he tends to have to prove himself, so he's one to brag about himself. But he's not like his father [who Mario killed]. He needs some anger management for sure. The chip on his shoulder stems from baggage from his dad, and if he went to some therapy, he could get on with his life. He's not narcissistic; he's wounded."

Koopa Troopa

You can't think for yourself.

"Koopa is peaceful; he tends to follow orders. But he can also be more passive-aggressive. When he wants to protect himself, he kind of hides back. Is he being aggressive because he was told to be aggressive, or is that kind of in his nature? He tends to follow others and follow orders from somebody in authority. If Bowser told him what to do, he'd do it."


You're wise, but flaky.

"I think Toad is more like a sage—a wise and enlightened character. He's clever; he's conscientious and is a leader, but doesn't like attention. He's unpredictable; maybe he comes when you really need him, like a terrific friend or an old relative who you didn't think cared about you, and they're totally there for you and they don't need attention. Toad is a little more introverted, too. Toad is up there in Maslow's self-actualization."

GO: The Mario Kart 64 Tournament is at the Ace Hotel, 1022 SW Stark St., 228-2277, acehotel.com, on Thursday, Jan. 28. 5-9 pm. Free.

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