Super Mario Bros. Super Homepage
A GeoCities site that was popular in the late 1990s is the “Super Mario Bros Super Homepage”. GeoCities sites were websites that could be created by anyone about any topic that the creator wanted. They were meant to give users an opportunity to enjoy creative websites about topics of their choice. Super Mario Brothers is a video game created by Nintendo that was very popular in the 1990s that is still relevant today. This was a space where fans of the popular game created by Nintendo could play Super Mario Brothers but in a different way than what would be experienced by playing the Nintendo version. The creator of this site is Mario Alberto from Puerto Rico who refers to himself on the site as the “Webmaster”. In this case, he is the producer, but he is drawing much of his content from Nintendo who originally produced the game. The site is bilingual, consisting of English and Spanish, and is solely dedicated to Super Mario Brothers. When the site was more active it served as a place that provided updates while new games were being released and were last updated in 2000. There are four different sections of the site which are Webmaster, News, Staff, and interactive side tabs.
The design of this Geocities site is very interactive and allows users to utilize multiple features of the site. Some of these features include different games that can be played, a Super Mario Bros soundtrack, a cartoon series, and different sections for notable characters such as Luigi, Mario, and Toad. The aesthetic is very similar to an arcade, which was representative of the era in which the site was most highly utilized. Throughout the website, there are pictures of characters located in many different places to elevate the design and provide some flavor. What really elevates this Geocities site is how unique these interactive features are from one another. Having the ability to be able to play different games on this site may have potentially drawn more users to this site because they had access to a variety of games without having to purchase the real game itself. There is also a soundtrack provided on the website, which at this time likely was very hard to find especially since people didn’t have access to resources like YouTube. The guestbook tab was unable to be viewed, but it seems that this is where a person would make some sort of an account. Through looking at this website it seems that the main goal of the Webmaster was to provide things on this GeoCities that could not be found on other sites.
To enjoy and understand this site a person does not have to be a huge fan of the Super Mario Brothers prior to them using it. On the site there are different tabs that can be clicked which provide an in-depth analysis of different characters such as Mario and Luigi, talking about their history and the impact they have had on the video game world and pop culture. This background information allows for users to use the site without prior experience of the game. This is a feature that contributes to the growth of the fanbase of the site and Super Mario Bros. However, since the site was constantly being updated, based on different Super Mario Games that were released by Nintendo this made the site very appealing to users who were big fans. With so many features being offered, and the fact that the site was constantly being updated there was always something new for the user to discover.
The people who benefited from the creation of this site the most were fans of Super Mario Brothers, fans of video games in general, Nintendo, and GeoCities themselves. Although it is unclear how much money specifically was charged to the creator of the site, there were fees for GB and the creation of the site that helped GeoCities profit. For the creator of this GeoCities success was dependent on his ability to provide quality updates, which in turn benefited GeoCities financially. Each update needed to be good enough to make users feel the need to come back. Updates were based on new features that the Webmaster came up with, which were based on the current developments of the game in the real world. It is unclear how much the creator of this GeoCities benefited because there is no charge to play the games or access any of the features provided. Nintendo itself benefits because even though the games are being played for free it generates interest for their game which could lead to people buying their actual product. However, there were many benefits that users received as fans of Super Mario Brothers. For example, the website provided them a space to access exclusive features of the games they enjoyed playing. As a result, they could play these games for free which helped them save money. Additionally, they had access to reviews and updates on current and future, highly anticipated games.
Overall, the creation of the GeoCities “Super Mario Bros Super Homepage” was a success in a wide variety of ways. Its design provided a unique interactive experience that made the site appealing to users. The site was universally enjoyable not only enhancing the existing fanbase’s experience but also providing access for new fans to come enjoy the game. The site itself benefits a variety of entities. For the GeoCities and creator of the site it provides revenue, for Nintendo, it gives their game more attention, and for users, it gives them a space to enjoy the game for free with exclusive features.
Shoam, Ahmir, “What Ever Happened to GeoCities?”, Techspot. February 22, 2022.