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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.

Gaming | Humour
130% funded
1043 supporters

Publication date: February 2021

book cover
You made Things I Learned from Mario's Butt a reality. It's available in all good book stores now.
140 pledges


A copy of the ebook.
Buy now
$40  + shipping
414 pledges


A copy of the first edition hardback, plus the ebook.
Buy now
26 pledges

Audio Butt

A digital AUDIO-only version of the book, narrated by the author and where possible, guest critics will read their own segments. This also includes the ebook so you can appreciate the artwork alongside the narrative. This is a digital-only level so no shipping costs!
Buy now

Sold out!

$55  + shipping
226 pledges

Signed Hardback

A SIGNED copy of the first edition hardback.
$60  + shipping
30 pledges

Hardback and Audio Butt

A copy of the first edition hardback plus the audio version read by Laura herself! Plus the ebook.
$70  + shipping
125 pledges

Signed Butt Hardback

A SIGNED copy of the hardback with a unique butt doodle in the front, hand-drawn by the author, plus the ebook.
$70  + shipping
20 pledges

Two Copies

Two copies of the first edition hardback to share with a friend. Plus the ebook.
$75  + shipping
10 pledges

Butt Mug

A mug, with a butt on it. Plus the signed hardback and ebook.
$75  + shipping
2 pledges

Send a Butt

A set of five postcards of original butt artwork, a mix of finished pieces and sketches. Plus the SIGNED hardback and ebook.
$75  + shipping
8 pledges

A Mug of Butts

A mug, with many, many butts on it, all drawn by Zack. Plus the signed hardback and ebook.
$90  + shipping
6 pledges

Signed Hardback and Audio Butt

A copy of the first edition signed hardback plus the audio version read by Laura herself! Plus the ebook.
$100  + shipping
1 pledge

Butt Print

A high quality art print of Zack's magnificent SKULL KID butt, plus the SIGNED hardback and ebook.
$100  + shipping
8 pledges

TWO Signed Hardbacks

Two SIGNED hardbacks, plus the ebook.
$105  + shipping
12 pledges

Signed Butt Hardback and Audio Butt

A signed copy of the hardback with a unique butt doodle in the front, hand-drawn by the author, plus the audio version read by Laura herself! Plus the ebook.
$130  + shipping
1 pledge

Three Butt Prints!

Three high quality art prints of Zack's magnificent butts, plus the SIGNED hardback and ebook. *One print will be Luigi, the other two will be decided later on by the author when all the artwork is complete.
$150  + shipping
10 pledges

Chat About Butts with Laura

A Skype chat with Laura to talk about the book and all things butts, plus anything else you'd like for an hour! This level also comes with a SIGNED copy of the hardback with a unique BUTT DOODLE in the front, hand-drawn by the author, plus the ebook. *Limited to TEN only.
$190  + shipping
1 pledge

A Mini Book of Butts

An exclusive pamphlet of Zack's early concept work for the book. This will be a 28 page, saddle-stitched sketchbook only available through this campaign. This level also includes the SIGNED hardback and the ebook.
$225  + shipping
5 pledges

Butt Avatar

Zack will draw you your very own social media friendly Butt Avatar! Plus a copy of the SIGNED hardback and ebook. ***Limited to FIVE only.
$750  + shipping
2 pledges

Pick a Butt!

You get to choose your favourite video game butt to be included in the book with an accompanying illustration by Zack. You also get TWO COPIES of the SIGNED and BUTT DOODLED hardback and the ebook. *Chosen butt is subject to author and publisher approval. **Limited to FOUR only.
$2,250  + shipping

Butt Patron

Five SIGNED copies of the hardback with unique Butt Doodles, the ebook, the Butt Mug, the Butt Postcards, the three Butt Prints, and your name printed at the front of the book in the Special Thanks section.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will it take for my book to get dispatched?

For books in stock we usually dispatch orders within a few working days. You will receive a dispatch email when your order is on the way.

Where can I get my book delivered to?

We have temporarily stopped taking orders for published books going to EU destinations due to BREXIT restrictions, but we deliver to most other countries worldwide. Enter your delivery address during checkout and we'll display the shipping cost when we know where to send your book. If your country does not appear on the list we are not currently taking orders to that destination.

If I buy an ebook, when will I receive this?

Ebook files are sent via email after checkout, or you can download them from your Unbound account.

Where can I buy a copy if there's none available through the Unbound website?

The book should be available to order from most bookshops, or you can support your local bookshop online by ordering from

Still have a question? Visit our Help Centre to find out more.

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, DodgerMasako 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.


Quick select rewards

$40  + shipping
414 pledges


A copy of the first edition hardback, plus the ebook.
Buy now
140 pledges


A copy of the ebook.
Buy now
  • Laura Kate Dale avatar

    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.

  • Laura Kate Dale has written 7 private updates. You can pledge to get access to them all.

    5th October 2021 A new Laura Kate Dale book!

    Hi All.

    Thank you so much again everyone who picked up a Things I Learned From Mario's Butt. The response to the book was delightful, and it was lovely seeing so many people have fun reading through it.

    I'm dropping you a message today to let you know that I have another new book currently crowdfunding on Unbound.

    The book is called Who Hunts The Whale?, and it is a novel I'm writing alongside…

    30th July 2020 Mario's Butt is Finalised For the Printers

    Hey Everyone

    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

    Hey everyone!

    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

    Hello All

    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

    Hello Everyone


    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!

    Hey everyone

    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!

    Hey Everyone

    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…

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  • Davy ​
    Davy ​ asked:

    A friend and I want to pledge for the signed copy of the book, but shipping is rather expensive. Is it possible to add a 2 signed copies of the book tier to be added?

    Laura Kate Dale
    Laura Kate Dale replied:

    I can certainly enquire, let me see what can be done.

    Davy ​
    Davy ​ asked:

    A friend and I both want a signed copy of the book. Unfortunately (international) shipping is fairly expensive. Is it possible to add a 2 signed copies of the book tier to be added? Would help us out a lot!

    Laura Kate Dale
    Laura Kate Dale replied:

    I have messaged the folks at Unbound about this, seeing what I can do.

    Max McCallum
    Max McCallum asked:

    When could we expect this book being delivered?

    Laura Kate Dale
    Laura Kate Dale replied:

    Hopefully in the spring to summer of 2019, though that will depend on a couple of factors. Art production can't enter full swing until the Unbound funding campaign reaches 100% and we don't know what date that will happen. Once full art production begins, we're estimating safely within four months all the art should be done, and I'd like the text to all be complete within the same window. Assuming we get funded by early November, maybe early March all the text and images should be done. We may have the text and images done sooner, but that's a safe estimation right now. Beyond that the text and images need to be assembled and tweaked by Unbound's editors and in house graphic design team, then it needs to get physically printed, shipped to me to sign, then shipped out to backers, alongside any backer rewards. Beyond this we need to sort ISBN numbers, getting stock sorted to stores, getting press coverage for the formal launch etc. There are a lot of moving pieces. So basically i'd like to be finished with the text and art early in 2019, then a few months of work has to go into getting it ready and out into the world. Hope that answers your question.

    Anthony Mantilla
    Anthony Mantilla asked:

    If you don't mind me asking, how limited are some of these pledges? I'd like to get a signed hardback but I'm kinda tight on cash at the moment. I hope I can still pledge to it in the next few weeks.

    Laura Kate Dale
    Laura Kate Dale replied:

    The only pledge levels which are limited in number have been labelled as such, tiers like the custom butt social media avatars, or the select a butt to be reviewed in the book tier. If it's not specifically mentioned to be limited, like the signed hardback, we will have as many available as people want to pledge for. As long as you pledge during the next couple of months while we're live on unbound, you'll be able to get that tier.

    Laiken Hamilton
    Laiken Hamilton asked:

    Hey there, I’d really like a signed copy of the book however, I noticed that there’s no mention of an ebook copy with that tier. Is that so? I really can’t wait to read this. So glad you got this happening. :)

    Laura Kate Dale
    Laura Kate Dale replied:

    I believe it’s meant to come with the ebook too, will get that wording updated. Worst case, I have zero problem providing the ebook to anyone who purchases a signed hardback.

    Stephen Juby
    Stephen Juby asked:

    How much input does picking a butt involve? Is it purely a nomination and then you research it, or do you want to know why that butt is so special to me?

    Laura Kate Dale
    Laura Kate Dale replied:

    So, that's entirely up to you. If you nominate a butt i will undoubtedly do lots of research to write about it myself, but always up for hearing why the pledger loves the butt too.

    Andrew Jones
    Andrew Jones asked:

    At the time I send this you're sitting at 61%. Congratulations :) Would it be possible to know how much this equates to, or the total amount left to raise? I'm looking at finding platforms to use in the future for my own work, and am interested to know what a realistic figure is when it comes to covering expected costs.

    Laura Kate Dale
    Laura Kate Dale replied:

    Unbound's comment section is not an appropriate place for me to answer this question, but if you email I will happilly provide you some insight into some of the specifics involved.

    Andrew Jones
    Andrew Jones asked:

    Is it possible to just pledge money without a reward tier. I have neither the time nor the space for another book in my life, but I want to see you succeed.

    Laura Kate Dale
    Laura Kate Dale replied:

    The easiest way to do this is to pledge at the ebook only tier, which I believe will give you the option to if you wish pay higher than the default price. This will allow you to pledge money to the campaign and help it reach funding, without you being sent any physical material. At that point, you always have the option of reading the space saving ebook if you ever want :P

    Damon Smith
    Damon Smith asked:

    Laura I want to upgrade my pleadge to the Butt Print edition becouse i am in love with the skull kid butt picture. I however was wondering if this came with the auto book becouse i am also really wating that as well.

    Laura Kate Dale
    Laura Kate Dale replied:

    At present no, but I can talk to Unbound about creating a tier that does contain the audiobook as well as the print for you. I will try to sort this soon.

    Clark Bob
    Clark Bob asked:

    Hi Laura, I love your vision and am super excited for the book! Any updates as to when you expect to ship? Thanks for all of your hard work ... can't wait!

    Laura Kate Dale
    Laura Kate Dale replied:

    Hey Clark I am just as eager to get a release date locked in as everyone waiting for it to ship. While I can't give a date yet, I can tell you where we are at with production. The book text is finished, and currently going through the editing process. All the art is done, we've gone through it with our lawyers, we have redone a handful of pieces, and now all the art is done. Basically, once the text is cleared, we will start putting together the physical layout mockup, then once that's cleared we can move to makiing the physical book and sorting backer rewards etc. We are progressing really well, and will hopefully have a proper answer RE shipping date soon. I'm sorry I can't give you a more specific thing than that. There's not many steps left before we can print and ship.

    max Gilgenmann
    max Gilgenmann asked:

    I just learned about this — I‘d love to still buy a book.. but I cannot at all it seems?

    Laura Kate Dale
    Laura Kate Dale replied:

    Where abouts are you based? You should be able top purchase an ebook version in most countries by checking book retailers. The Audiobook and Ebook are available here on Unbound. If you're outside the UK and looking to purchase a physical copy, your best bet is to order one from a UK retailer such as Waterstones. It'll cost a little extra in shipping but it's the best way right now to get a physical copy in a lot of countries.