Things I Learned from Mario's Butt
By Laura Kate Dale
A compendium and critique of the most beautiful, bulbous and downright dangerous video game butts.
Publication date: February 2021Support this project
Hardback and Audio Butt
Signed Butt Hardback
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A Mug of Butts
Signed Hardback and Audio Butt
TWO Signed Hardbacks
Signed Butt Hardback and Audio Butt
Three Butt Prints!
Chat About Butts with Laura
A Mini Book of Butts
Pick a Butt!
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When it comes to video game character designs, one of the most commonly overlooked aspects is the buttocks. Sure, we might see tweets when a game launches about how nice a female character's big arse is, or we might giggle at GIFs of farts from time to time, but how often do we as lovers of interactive media stop to really think about the meaning of the butt?
How often do we take some time out of our day to really think about the lore implications of Skull Kid from Majora's Mask shaking his booty, and what that tells us about his chances of redemption, or Miranda from Mass Effect, and the fact that her perfect cheeks are actually a sad reminder of her predestined upbringing? Probably not often enough.
As an author, I have dedicated years of my career to the study of posteriors, from the large to the small, the formless to the toned, and in this book I hope to bring the fruits of that research to you. By the time we're done, you should hopefully know the difference between a but that's attractive for attractiveness sake, and one that's actually narratively informative, telling us something of worth about the person it belongs to, or the world it inhabits.
Things I Learned From Mario's Butt is a 40,000 word illustrated coffee table book all about video game character butts. Wedged full of original artwork by Zack Flavin (@FlavinFlve), this book aims to explain why Luigi's butt is so dexterous in Smash Bros., why Ellie in Borderlands 2's butt is the epitome of body positivity, why Miranda in Mass Effect's butt being perfect is actually tragic and upsetting, and so much more.
Featuring interviews with game developers about butts they love and have designed, and guest butt reviews from internet personalities including:
Jim Sterling Zoe Quinn Justin McElroy
PLUS: Brian Altano, Max Scoville, Brentalfloss, Greg Miller, Tim Gettys, Dan Bull, Dodger, Masako X, Little Kuriboh, Alanah Pearce, Cory Barlog, and Stuart Ashen.
This book aims to give you some butts to giggle at, but also some real deep topics that are butt adjacent to contemplate. Butts can be fun, they can be informative, and they can be downright integral to the games we play.
While the book is still being developed, we currently have a number of our reviews planned out, including but not limited to the characters below:
Solid Snake – Metal Gear
Meryl – Metal Gear
Johnny Suzaki – Metal Gear
Mario – Mario Series
Luigi – Mario Series
Wario – Mario Series
Donkey Kong – Mario Series
Link – The Legend of Zelda
Skull Kid – The Legend of Zelda
Sheik – The Legend of Zelda
Ganondorf – The Legend of Zelda
Tingle – The Legend of Zelda
Tracer – Overwatch
D.VA – Overwatch
Widowmaker – Overwatch
Miranda Lawson – Mass Effect
Liara T'Soni – Mass Effect
Uranus – Mass Effect
Juliet Starling – Lollypop Chainsaw
The Bloodborne Game Disc – Bloodborne
Master Chief – Halo
Cortana – Halo
Puker – Dead Space
Poison – Street Fighter
Soldier – Team Fortress 2
Ellie – Borderlands 2
The L Shaped Tetris Block - Tetris
So, with your help and support, let's peak behind the curtain, and get to the bottom of what makes bottoms so important in games.
About the Book
- A full colour, high quality hardback with printed endpapers.
- 201 x 254mm format with head and tail bands.
- 55 original, bespoke illustrations.
- Approximately 160 pages, and 40,000 words.
- Tons of amazing and exclusive pledge levels!
*Book designs and cover are for illustrative purposes and may differ to final design.
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Laura Kate Dale
Laura Kate Dale is a full time video game critic, who currently works as News Editor for Kotaku UK. She's previously worked as UK Editor for Destructiod, started the website Let's Play Video Games, and has done freelance work for IGN, Polygon, Vice, The Guardian, and Rock Paper Shotgun.
This will be Laura's second published book, the first being a serious memoir about growing up at the intersection of being LGBT and living with Autism. She is excited about the prospect of working on something a little more light hearted, and the opportunity to work with a talented artist to bring her words to life.
Laura's career highlights have included reviewing the Slim PS4 revision on camera weeks before it was officially revealed, and getting Tim Schafer to admit at a Bafta event that he really likes cat butts. She also once was flown out to America as a keynote speaker, to give a talk about video game butts. Seriously, she knows her butts.
Zack Flavin is an artist based out of Los Angeles where his focus is visual development and storyboarding for TV and video games. Originally from Northern California, he grew up with two older brothers and every Nintendo system they could get their hands on. Long days were spent marveling at the pixely and polygonal butts before him, often times doodling up worlds of his own imagination filled with butts worth marveling at.
Mario – The Mario Series
Mario's butt is probably one of the most iconic butts in video games, by sheer virtue of how well known he is as a character. Whether you play games or not, the stout plumber in his blue overalls and red cap is recognised far and wide.
At this point, worldwide knowledge of Mario as a character isn't going anywhere, he's as instantly recognisable as say Mickey Mouse, and he will forever be recognisable regardless of the effort put into him and his games. This level of automatic notoriety is important to note, because from his butt design we can infer that the character of Mario has gotten sloppy and complacent over the years.
Think back to the original Super Mario, Mario's butt was tiny, barely a few pixels across. He jumped, he lept, and you never saw his butt as anything of note. However, as the Mario series has gone on, his butt has ballooned in size. First he got more pixels, then he started packing on the polygons, and at this point Mario is rather known for the flab he carried around top of his legs.
While this additional posterior fat might be useful, its introduction coincided with his ability to stomp down on things below himself buttocks first, he's done very little to tone his butt, or to make interesting mechanical use of it. He's a character who has grown complacent due to the fast growth of his fame, and the way he has treated his butt is exemplary of that. It's the flabby undefined butt of someone who is so famous, he no longer has to make any effort to be noticed.
Luigi – The Mario Series
Luigi, when compared to Mario, has an arse defined by its dexterity. Living consistently in the shadow of his more famous brother, rarely given his own games, Luigi is a character who has to work orders of magnitude harder than his brother to be noticed, and his butt is the focal point that proves this point.
Where Mario can get away with a bland boring butt that is simply flabby enough for ground pounds, Luigi has clearly trained long and hard to make sure his butt is chock full of functional possibilities, making him more viable in a fight than his brother.
If we look at the later entries in the Super Smash Bros. series, from Melee onwards, you can see that Luigi has numerous attacks that make use of his wildly dexterous butt. Perhaps most notably, he has one attack where he launches himself at enemies, butt first. The sheer momentum caused by throwing his butt sideways is enough to carry his whole body off the ground, causing it to collide with enemies and cause them decent amounts of damage.
- 30th July 2020 Mario's Butt is Finalised For the Printers
So, in long overdue news, the final version of Things I Learned From Mario's Butt is locked in. We're done. Every backer's name is in the book, every page has been checked by a bunch of editors, and we're preeeeety sure there's no spelling erros left, fingers crossed haha.
The final version of the book that will be sent to the printers is done, and at some point in the next few…16th April 2020 Covid-19 and Mario's Butt - A Release Date Update
Hello everyone, Laura here, author of Things I Learned From Mario's Butt.
Let's address the elephant in the room, Covid-19 is a thing, and it's causing a lot of disruption around the world to a lot of different industries. One of those is physical book publishing.
I had hoped my book launch wouldn't be impacted too much, Things I Learned From mario's Butt is essentially finished and was until…11th February 2020 Page Layout Samples are Finally Ready - Your First Look at How the Finished Book Will Look
So, good news, we've had out first design samples for Things I Learned From Mario's Butt back from the design team, and they're looking fantastic.
I've seen roughly the first 12 pages of the book, and while I don't want to spoil too much of the book's content, I did want to share a two page spread from the book here, so you could all see what the finished book should look like.…11th November 2019 Mario's Butt Has a Release Window
I know things have been a little slow on the news front for Things I Learned From Mario's Butt, but I have been waiting until I have some substantial news to share.
The short version - We have a release month planned, October 2020.
I know that may be a little further in the future than some of you may have been hoping, but I promise the wait will be worth it. This is the most proud…28th January 2019 Book Nearly Done - Robert Yand Interview Added
Update time again on the book, and in terms of the text it's pretty much done. I've taken this week off my day job to make sure it's edited and finished to perfection, but the book is maybe a couple of afternoons from being sent over to the publisher which is the first real step towards it being in your hands.
Additionally, I would like to announce that I have secured an…18th December 2018 I've finished my text for the book!
So, here's an update on the progress on the book. Put simply, I have finished writing my text for the book. This is the vast majority of the book's final wordcount, my reviews of individual character butts, and that portion of the book is now complete.
In terms of art, our artist Zack is working very hard right now on all the character sketches, and we're approving or revising them…28th November 2018 85% Funded, This is Nearly a Reality!
Sorry the last month or so has been a little light on updates on the book, promoting it and handling managing contributions while we try to hit the funding goal has become more of a full time job than expected. However, I've got a quiet lunch break free today, so time to update everyone on where the book is at.
We've added several new contributors to the book since we first launched…26th October 2018 50% Funded - A Full List of Franchises
Two weeks in, and here we are half way to funded. It has been an amazing few weeks, and I can’t thank everyone enough for all their support.
So, to celebrate hitting 50% funded, I’m going to be releasing a full list of the franchises I personally will be reviewing characters from for Things I Learned From Mario’s Butt. This isn’t a full list of characters, it doesn’t include those covered by developer…19th October 2018 A Couple more Guest Butt Critics
Just a quick public update, we have a couple more guest butt critics who have been secured for the book, which means a few more pages of additional art being added too.
Youtuber Slowbeef is confirmed, and will be doing a butt review at some point in the book.
Additionally, for any of you who enjoy Yu-Gi-Oh Abridged or Dragon Ball Z Abridged, I can confirm we will be having guest butt reviews…11th October 2018 Well, Today's the big day!
Today has been en emotionally overwhelming day for me already, and I just wanted to drop all you early backers a thank you for helping get this all off to such a good start.
I first had the idea for Things I Learned From Mario's Butt around four years ago, in fact I recently had a FaceBook memory from August 2014 pop up on my feed reminding me about my earliest attempts to make this book a reality…
These people are helping to fund Things I Learned from Mario's Butt.